Egyptian Council of Ministers approves law criminalizing protests

23 March 2011

The Egyptian Council of Ministers today approved a Decree criminalizing promotion of or participation in any assembly that would hamper work at a private or public establishment. Violation of the Decree is punishable by imprisonment and/or a fine up to LE 500,000. The Council of Ministers said in a statement that the Decree would only be enforced so long as the current state of emergency is in place. With the exception of an eighteen month break from 1980-1981, Egypt has been under a continuous state of emergency since 1967.

Also today, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces announced that it would issue a Decree within the next 48 hours to establish a “roadmap… for elections and the laws to be passed to implement the constitutional amendments” which were approved by 77% of the estimated 18 million citizens who cast votes in last Saturday’s referendum on revisions to the Egyptian constitution. Under Article 179 of the revised constitution, the next elected parliament of Egypt is required to create a constituent assembly of 100 individuals to draft a new constitution within six months of the parliamentary election.

ICNL and our local partners continue to monitor developments concerning freedom of association and assembly in Egypt.


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