New draft protest law approved by Egyptian cabinet
Egypt's cabinet agrees on new draft legislation placing some limits on protests; justice minister says police can't ban demonstrations.
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The cabinet of Prime Minister Hisham Qandil approved a new law Wednesday to regulate protests.
The law puts restrictions on protests, including articles that stipulate that notice must be submitted to the interior ministry five days prior to any protest, including the time, place and objectives of the demonstration.
Minister of Justice Ahmed Mekki said in a press statement Wednesday that the interior ministry does not have the right to forbid protests, but may resort to a judge to change the route of a proposed demonstration.
The law will exclude certain locations from the obligation to notify authorities of protests, justice ministry spokesperson Mahmoud Abu-Shusha told the Turkish Anadolu news agency.
Another article forbids protests within a 200-metre radius of presidential palaces, parliament, ministry headquarters, diplomatic missions, courthouses, hospitals, places of worship, security directorates, and other public buildings and sites.
According to Abu-Shusha, the limit was amended from an earlier draft that stipulated a 500-metre ceiling.
The law also puts limits on graffiti on public or private property, as well as the wearing of masks or head covers.
The cabinet is expected to send the draft legislation to the Shura council for debate.