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Egypt: President Approves Anti-Protest Law

(Dec. 19, 2013) On November 24, 2013, President Adly Mansour, Egypt’s Interim President, approved Law 107-2013, known as the “anti-protest legislation.” Law 107-2013 is aimed at regulating peaceful protests and public meetings. (Anti-Protest Law [in Arabic], AL WAFD [the official gazette] (Nov. 24, 2013); The President of Egypt Approves Anti-Protest Law, AL SUMARIA NEWS AGENCY (Nov. 24, 2013).)

The Law defines the terms “public meetings” and “peaceful protests.” It prohibits political public meetings in places of worship. It also prohibits protesting individuals from doing the following acts:

1) carrying any type of weapon (Anti-Protest Law, art. 6);

2) causing any harm to public or private buildings (id.);

3) wearing masks covering their faces (id.); and

4) threatening pedestrians and drivers passing by the location of the protest (id. art. 7).

The new Law also requires the organizers of any protest to notify the Ministry of the Interior (i.e., homeland security) in writing 24 hours in advance. The Minister and provincial governors specify where the protests may take place. (Id.)

Additionally, the Law authorizes the Minister of the Interior to stop an ongoing protest or ban it in advance if it is deemed likely not to be peaceful. The Law regulates rules of engagement with protestors and grants the authority to anti-riot police to use sound bombs, tear gas, and rubber bullets to curb violent protests. (Id.)

Finally, the Law imposes sanctions on violators. It punishes individuals who use violence in protests with imprisonment for not less than seven years or a fine of from 100,000-300,000 Egyptian Pounds (about US$30,000-$42,857). The court has the discretion to apply both penalties simultaneously. (Id.)