Protest law from perspective of presidential candidates
Both presidential candidates Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Hamdeen Sabbahi - YOUM7(Archive)

CAIRO: The protest law was one of the controversial issues that was discussed by the two presidential candidates Hamdeen Sabbahi and Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. The protest law that was passed in November 2013 is denounced by many revolutionary activists in Egypt.

Sisi said that the law was passed as a legal mechanism to end the state of anarchy that Egypt is going through.

Protesting is a right but there are conditions that should be taken into consideration, Sisi said in an interview conducted by television hosts Lamis el-Hadidi and Ibrahim Eissa on ONTV and CBC satellite channels on Monday.

He said the aim of the protest law is to regulate demonstrations, not to ban them, and he wondered if someone tendered a request to demonstrate and the request was turned down.

Nassierist presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi said he will repeal the protest law and will amend it if he won.

He said in his speech on national TV on May 5 that he will pardon all opinion prisoners, referring that the prison will not be a place for those with opinions.

Many parties, including the April 6 Youth Movement, held several protests against the law, considering it a means to restrict the freedom of expression.

Those arrested at public gatherings may, under article 19 of the protest law, received a prison sentence of two to five years and a fine of 50,000 to 100,000 EGP (U.S. $7,250-14,500.)

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