Egypt’s politics digest Oct. 1: Supreme Court to consider Protest law; Lawyers protest against VAT Law downtown
Demonstration against the protest law - YOUM7 (Archive)

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Supreme Court to consider Protest law

The Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court will consider two legal cases calling for un-constitutionalize the protest law on Saturday, Youm7 reported.

It is expected the court will be attended by many media persons, and a number of lawyers and activists. One of two lawsuits filed against the law appealed two articles that require prior permit before launching a demonstration, and subsequently allows police forces to reject or disperse the protest.

The second lawsuit appeals two other articles that criminalize taking part in a protest that disrupt traffic, security and punish violators by at least one year in prison.

The protest law, issued November 2013, stipulates that protests can only take place with a police permit. Accordingly, hundreds of people, including activists and students, have been jailed over breaching the law. The controversial law was harshly slammed by politicians and rights groups, locally and internationally, accusing it of being used to punish activists and curb freedom of expression.


Lawyers protest against VAT Law downtown

A number of lawyers called for staging a protest outside the headquarters of the High Judicial Court downtown on Saturday against the controversial and applicable Value-Added Tax law, Youm7 reported.

The lawyers called for the annulling of the protest, saying it contradicts with the international technical and legal standards.

Late August, The House of Representatives had approved the tax of 13 percent, the move taken by the government to increase the state’s revenues amid current financial crisis. Since then, some products and services prices have been increased.


Recently-emerged militant group claims attack on Egyptian prosecutor

(Reuters) – A recently-emerged militant group called the Hasm Movement claimed responsibility on Friday for an assassination attempt on a senior Egyptian prosecutor, saying it was in revenge for death sentences handed to thousands of convicts.

The organization, which has claimed four other attacks since July, said it set off the car bomb that exploded near a vehicle carrying assistant prosecutor general Zakaria Abdel Aziz from his office to his home in Cairo on Thursday.

He and his entourage were not hurt but one passerby was wounded.

Hasm, the Arabic word for decisiveness, accused judges of sentencing thousands of innocent defendants to death, or jailing them for life, at the behest of the military. “You will face justice,” it said in a statement that mixed Islamist and anti-government political rhetoric.

Egypt is facing an Islamist insurgency led by Islamic State’s branch in North Sinai, where hundreds of soldiers and police have been killed.

Judges and other senior officials have increasingly been targeted by radical Islamists angered by hefty prison sentences imposed on members of the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

The Brotherhood, which says it is a peaceful organisation, won Egypt’s first free elections after the 2011 uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.

But its presidential candidate, Mohamed Mursi, was himself deposed after mass protests against his rule and replaced by general turned President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in 2013.

Sisi has since overseen a crackdown on opposition in which hundreds of Brotherhood supporters were killed and thousands, including Mursi, jailed or sentenced to death.

Hasm’s statement on Friday included several photographs of what appeared to be Abdel Aziz’s car with the caption “target’s car” as well as his house and guards.

Hasm has also said it was behind an assassination attempt last month on Egypt’s former Grand Mufti, Ali Gomaa, once one of the country’s top religious authorities.

Gomaa is an outspoken critic of Islamist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, and in his previous job had the final say on whether to confirm death sentences.


Egyptians required submitting legal permits before travelling to Sudan to curb illegal migration to Libya

Egyptian Ministry of Interior ruled that Egyptians who want to travel to Sudan should obtain a legal permission, in a way to prevent illegal migration to Libya via Sudan, Youm7 reported on Saturday.

Due to the five-year-old security and political turmoil in Libya, Egyptian authorities have banned travelling to Libya, particularly after killing dozens of Egyptians there. However, many Egyptians and other African migrations travel.

Youm7 interviewed an illegal migrant who said that the economic situations in Egypt is very hard and he preferred to travel to Libya although the presence of the Islamic State group’s presence.


33 Egyptian fishermen will return back home from after solving their problems in Saudi Arabia

Egyptian Consulate in Saudi Jubail managed to solve 33 Egyptian expatriates’ problems after the nationals complained that their Saudi sponsor did not pay them their monthly salaries and they worked for him without legal contracts, according to a statement from the Egyptian Foreign Ministry on Friday.

The Egyptian nationals are fishermen, who travelled to Saudi Arabia six months ago to work on a Saudi boat. The consulate will bring the fishermen back home on the expenses of the owner of the Saudi boat after paying them the arrears.

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