November 20th, 2014 by Editor
The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) expresses its concern for the arrest of a number of demonstrators, which took place yesterday, Wednesday 19 November 2014 to commemorate Mohamed Mahmoud anniversary in Cairo and in various governorates, calling for the application of Article 73 of the Egyptian Constitution, which provides the right to stage public meetings, processions, demonstrations and all forms of peaceful demonstrations, without weapons of any sort.
Numerous activists organized some events to commemorate Mohamed Mahmoud anniversary in Cairo, in Mohamed Mahmoud street, (Downtown) and in various governorates, including Alexandria, on Stanley bridge, Luxor, at Salah ElDin square (Downtown), ElMansoura, at ElThawra square, close to the Cabinet, El Dakahleya, Damietta, Sohag and many other governorates, where the security forces disperded those marches and arrested numerous demonstrators.
EOHR affirms that the freedom of peaceful demonstration and peaceful expression of opinion is a right assured by the international charters and conventions, as Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights issued in 1966 which states that “The right of peaceful assembly shall be recognized. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (ordre public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others” and Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association”.
From this perspective EOHR stresses the importance of this right, but at the same time stresses the necessity to exercise this right away from violence and bloodshed, preserving the values and principles of human rights.
As previously asserted, EOHR affirms that the Demonstration Law as it is represents a clear tightening of the citizens’ right to peaceful demonstration and a rebound on the achievements of the revolutions of 25 January and 30 June, that were based on ensuring to citizens rights and public freedoms. Therefore it calls upon the Egyptian government to review and amend the Law, especially with respect to the severe penalties imposed against peaceful demonstrators, and to quickly release all the peaceful demonstrators arrested yesterday in the various Egyptian governorates. EOHR welcomes the release of some of them.
On his part, Hafez Abo Seada, EOHR president, asserts that the current Demonstration Law is not consistent nor with the international obligations and conventions that Egypt signed, neither with the new Egyptian Constitution, which provides that the right to demonstration is assured to all. Therefore it is necessary to amend this Law, in accordance with the international obligations, and to stop the implications of its legal obligations. He also stressed the importance to distinguish between peaceful demonstration and its permission, and violent demonstration which shall be forbidden.
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