Thursday, November 28, 2013

Egyptian Government restricts Protesting to help Restore Stability

Egyptian government officials defended a new law Monday that sharply restricts the right to protest as needed to bring security, trying to counter a storm of criticism from allies and opponents alike who say the rules stifle freedom of expression and endanger the country’s democratic transition.
The law, issued by the interim president a day earlier, bans public gatherings of more than 10 people without prior government approval, imposing hefty fines and prison terms for violators. It also empowered security agencies to use force to break up protests. 
The protest law has caused cracks in the loose coalition of secular and non-Islamist groups that rallied behind the military-backed government installed after the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi in July.
Morsi supporters have been holding constant protests since his fall, often descending into bloody clashes amid a rising wave of violence. 
Egypt’s powerful military chief, the man who removed Morsi, weighed in as well, urging political factions and the media to support the transition process and line up behind a push to restore security — though he did not specifically mention the law.
Political groups should drop ‘‘criteria and considerations that don’t fit the reality Egypt is living and the challenges it faces,’’ General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said, pointing to security threats, including the increasing militant attacks in the Sinai Peninsula. 
‘‘The political, economic, and social challenges Egypt faces need effort and will and a correct understanding of the requirements of this phase,’’ Sissi said at a meeting of officers, according to MENA, the state news agency. 
He said a number of measures underway will ‘‘correct the democratic path and establish a regime that pleases all Egyptians.’’ It was an apparent reference to the new protest law and a drive to finish amending the constitution.
Read the full story HERE.

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