Egypt: Law Relating to the Regulation of the Right to Demonstrate in Public Spaces

In this analysis, ARTICLE 19 finds that the Draft Law “relating to the regulation of the right to demonstrate in public spaces” of Egypt (Draft Law) overwhelmingly fails to comply with international standards on the right to freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly.

The net effect of the Draft Law, if enacted, would be to wholly reverse any presumption in favour of the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly in Egypt. Broad powers and draconian sanctions would significantly augment the state’s power to quash legitimate dissent and restrict the functioning of civil society.

ARTICLE 19 is particularly concerned that the Draft Law would give broad and unchecked authority to law enforcement to use severe and potentially lethal force to disperse assemblies, including peaceful assemblies, without regard to principles or proportionality or accountability for basic rights violations.