Dostour Party criticizes presidency for ignoring protest law recommendations

Khaled Dawoud, spokesperson of the Dostour Party, criticized the presidency for ignoring the suggestions presented by the political parties to change the protest law, Al-Masry Al-Youm reports.
“The government is telling us, ‘Say what you like and we will do as we please’,” Dawoud said at a meeting of the Democratic Current member parties Wednesday.
Dawoud stressed the importance of changing the law, adding that the Democratic Current considers itself the achiever of the goals of the 25 January revolution in the next parliamentary elections.
Former presidential candidate and founder of Popular Trend Hamdeen Sabbahi said the group has previously called for amending the law to regulate protests instead of criminalizing them.
Meanwhile, government officials affirm the protest law is here to stay. “Changing the law will not occur until the parliament is elected,” said Justice Minister Mahfouz Saber in a phone call with Al-Hayat satellite channel. “The ministry’s legislative role in this stage is focused on laws concerned with daily needs.”
Hundreds of liberal activists, who oppose a military-led government, and others affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, have been detained for breaking the law, which requires prior authorization from the Interior Ministry before staging a protest. The law empowers the ministry to turn down requests, imposing fines and prison sentences for whoever does not comply.
The law, issued under rule of Interim President Adly Mansour, was heavily criticized by human rights groups and the international community, including the UN, the US and several European countries.
The Egyptian government, however, rejected the criticism considering it as “clear intervention” in its internal affairs.

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