Protest Law to be passed to Parliament without amendments: Minister
Clashes - YOUM7/Hassan Mohamed (Archive)

CAIRO: The 2013 Protest Law will be submitted to the new parliament without amendments, announced Minister of Legal Affairs and the House of Representatives Magdy Al-Agaty stated Tuesday.

Reconsidering the protest law, which has sent many to prison, has been repeatedly demanded by politicians and rights activists, who state that it runs counter to the right to freedom of expression granted in the constitution.

The law, in effect since Nov.25, 2013, requires police approval before launching a protest. Accordingly, it has received huge condemnation for its curbing to constitutional rights of freedom of expression.

Scheduled to convene Jan. 10, the newly elected parliament will be tasked with reviewing laws issued under President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and his predecessor Adly Mansour within its first 15 days.

During his interview with Yahdoth Fi Masr TV Show on MBC Masr channel, Agaty said that among the laws issued during the past three years, there are 93 decrees that need to be considered by the parliament during the determined period, or else they “will be annulled and their consequential impacts cancelled.”

Agaty said that the procedure is mandatory; however he referred to the Constitutional Court’s opinion, which sees that it is not a necessity to present the laws before the parliament.

But for Agaty and the Cabinet, they see that “to be in the safe side,” all laws should be discussed by the elected parliament “whether they were issued before or after having a constitution,” added Agaty.

All the laws will be distributed on the committees of the parliament for consideration, he further explained.

Egypt has not had a parliament since June 2012, after the Islamist-dominated People’s Assembly was dissolved per a court order about six months after its election.

During this gap, many laws were issued, approved by the government and reviewed by the legislation department at the State Affairs Council; however, Agaty said, “the legislative power remains in hands of the parliament, which can amend or cancel laws.”

Among the to-be-revised laws are: the anti-terrorism law, presidential elections law, parliament elections law and Exercise of Political Rights law, Agaty said.

Among dozens convicted upon the law’s provisions is the prominent political activist and blogger Alaa Abdel Fatah, who is currently serving a five-year sentence on charges that include breaching of the law.

Abdel Fatah’s younger sister, Sanaa Seif along with the Rights defender Yara Sallam were among a recent batch of 100 pardoned detainees, after both were sentenced to two years in prison for illegal protesting.

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