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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


Samer Al-Atrush

@SameralAtrush

Banning protests in egypt is like banning elex n other countries, considering how presidents and governments are brought in here

/ Via

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

Other groups didn’t bother applying for a permit, but called for street protests on Tuesday against the law. A protest in downtown Cairo Tuesday morning was quickly broken up by police.


Jonathan Rashad

@JonathanRashad

Skirmishes on Abdel-Khalek Tharwat street downtown on the first day of the new protest law. #Egypt

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Police violently dispersing a protest in commemoration of 16 yrs old martyr Jika in Tala'at Harb square now. #Egypt

— HebaFarooq (@Heba Farouk Mahfouz.)

Heba Farouk Mahfouz.

@HebaFarooq

Police violently dispersing a protest in commemoration of 16 yrs old martyr Jika in Tala’at Harb square now. #Egypt

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Update - 5 p.m., Nov. 26: A second protest, which began later in the day, was also broken up. Police used water cannons and fired birdshot into the crowd.

Police attack with water then charge at crowd with batons as they flee. Tear gas fired.

— sharifkouddous (@Sharif Kouddous)

Sharif Kouddous

@sharifkouddous

Police attack with water then charge at crowd with batons as they flee. Tear gas fired.

/ Via

Amr El Ghany, a 24-year-old who took part in Tuesday’s protests said, “It’s like the revolution never happened. We have no new rights. We are worse than we were under Mubarak.”

Violent breakup of #nomiltrials and no #protestlaw protest w water canons and beatings now #cairo #egypt

— shadirahimi (@shadi rahimi شادي)

shadi rahimi شادي

@shadirahimi

Violent breakup of #nomiltrials and no #protestlaw protest w water canons and beatings now #cairo #egypt

/ Via

Non-MB protesters marching in a demo in downtown Cairo attacked by the police. Welcome to April 2008, inevitable successor to June 30 2013.

— Sarahcarr (@أبو كار)

أبو كار

@Sarahcarr

Non-MB protesters marching in a demo in downtown Cairo attacked by the police. Welcome to April 2008, inevitable successor to June 30 2013.

/ Via

Videos showed peaceful protesters attacked by police.

youtube.com

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

Update 7pm: Many of those detained were well-known activists. There were reports that the women detained by police were being sexually harassed.

Another photo of @maisaad4 @nazlyhussein @amr_imam being beaten. All 3 dedicate their lives to detainee support. ”

— ORHamilton (@Omar Robert Hamilton)

Omar Robert Hamilton

@ORHamilton

Another photo of @maisaad4 @nazlyhussein @amr_imam being beaten. All 3 dedicate their lives to detainee support. ”

/ Via

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

Egypt’s Ministry of Interior (MOI) has already approved two small protests for next week by the Egyptian lawyers syndicate. But protests against the protest law are still seeking approval.

What we know for sure however is that law will give MOI full discretion to prohibit demos and that protesters must go to court to appeal

— hebamorayef (@hebamorayef)

hebamorayef

@hebamorayef

What we know for sure however is that law will give MOI full discretion to prohibit demos and that protesters must go to court to appeal

/ Via

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Sheera Frenkel is a cybersecurity correspondent for BuzzFeed News. Her secure PGP fingerprint is 0B69 4C66 9228 93D5 91A3 010B 7542 9FAF 4315 B404
Contact Sheera Frenkel at Sheera.Frenkel@buzzfeed.com
 
 
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