Egypt’s New Protest Law Inspires Protests

A new law designed to crack down on protests is more restrictive than similar laws from the era of Hosni Mubarak. Update: Dozens arrested.

Egypt’s interim government banned unapproved public gatherings of over 10 people over the weekend, effectively making it illegal for Egyptians to take part in the type of protests that have toppled two consecutive governments.

Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters

The new law is more restrictive than any protest law enforced during the almost 30-year rule of Hosni Mubarak, and Egyptians were quick to rebel.

Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters

By Monday, one group had already presented the Egyptian Interior Ministry with an official request to organize a protest with the (exaggerated) attendance of 10 million people under the slogan “Eat popcorn and down with the protest law.”

Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters

Videos showed peaceful protesters attacked by police.

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Egyptian media reported that more than 50 people were detained by police in Tuesday’s protest. Under the new law, they can be charged with $44,000 for being violent at a protest, or $1,500 just for participating.

Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters

Egyptian authorities have argued that the law is meant to regulate protests, rather than ban them.

Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters

But human rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch say the new law is meant to give Egyptian Security Forces free reign.

Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters

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