Egypt court rules parts of protest law unconstitutional

Cairo, Dec 3 (IANS) Egypt’s Supreme Court on Saturday ruled that parts of an article of a controversial protest law were unconstitutional, a move that cancels the authority of the Interior Ministry to ban rallies.

An item of the article 10 of the law entitling security forces to prevent protests, and another regulating the right of public assembly and peaceful protests were ruled unconstitutional, Xinhua news agency reported.

Under the ruling, the Interior Ministry will no longer have the authority to ban any protests.

The court rejected other appeals on other articles of the protest law.

In January last year, the court in Cairo decided to suspend looking into an appeal against the protest law filed by human rights lawyers until the constitutional court reviews the constitutionality of the law.

Former Interim President Adly Mansour promulgated the law in 2013, granting the Interior Ministry the power to ban protests or political assembly without prior police permits.

The law was promulgated at a time of frequent clashes between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and the security forces.

Human Rights Watch condemned the law as a “violation of international standards”.

Hundreds of students and activists are serving prison terms for violating this law, the most prominent of whom is Ahmed Maher, the leader of the April 6 movement that led to the 2011 uprising that ousted long time President Hosni Mubarak.

–IANS

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