November 27th, 2013 by Editor
EOHR express its deep concern after the President of the Republic interim Adli Mansour issued a law on demonstrations, despite the reluctance of the political forces on that bill and putting general limits on the law, the government ignored those amendments and issued the law.
EOHR considers the demonstration law in this way is only a way of narrowing the rights of the citizens to demonstrate peacefully and rebound of the gains of the 25th January Revolution, which erupted to ensure the rights and the freedoms of the citizens.
The law has included a number of criticisms such as giving the security officials the right to ban any demonstration on the basis of being vague, permitting the police officers to disperse any demonstration with the lethal force using the cartridges weapons, which can kill if t were used in short distance, and the law doesn’t state any exceptions to the small demonstrations which doesn’t disrupt the traffic or the spontaneous demonstrations.
In addition, Article 21 states the penalties for organizing a demonstration without a permission, that the punishment fine will not be less than 10,000 pounds and will not exceed 30,000 pounds, imposed on who organized the public meeting, procession, or demonstration without making the notification provided in the Article VIII of the law, which is an exaggerated penalty and contradict the rule of the proportionality between crime and punishment.
EOHR describe this law as contradictory and performing restrictions on the peaceful protests , which is a right guaranteed by international conventions and treaties , as the article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights , issued in 1966, stated that ” the right to peaceful assembly is recognized , and there shouldn’t be restrictions on the exercise of this right other than those imposed in conformity with the law which are necessary in a democratic society to maintain the national security, public safety, public order, protection of the public health, and protection of the rights and freedoms of others”. And article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stated that “Everyone has the right to participate freely in a peaceful assembly or association.”
In this regard, the EOHR calls for the amending of the demonstration law and responding to the amendments put forward by the National Council for Human Rights, which is a set of controls to ensure that the right to peaceful demonstrate is guaranteed, and to make sure that the law will be in consistent with the international charters and conventions of human rights.
From his side, Hafez Abu Seada, President of EOHR, has emphasized that the current law contradicts the international obligations and agreements signed by Egypt and also it significantly contrasts the new constitution, which stipulates that the right to demonstrate is guaranteed for all.
He also pointed that the penal code is adequate if it was applied against the non-peaceful demonstrations, and this law racked the achievements of both the revolutions of 25th January ad 30th June, 2013, which erupted primarily to call for freedom. And he called for the issuance of a more liberal demonstration law to be displayed on the upcoming parliament also to be compatible with the international conventions concerned with human rights.
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