September 20, 2013
The interim ministry of justice drafted a bill that would impose several new restrictions on protests. The draft law was discussed by the cabinet and is now awaiting presidential approval. Below is a translation of text of the draft law as it was published by Al Ahram. 

Article 1
Citizens have the right to organize public gatherings, processions and demonstrations and to peacefully join unarmed, in accordance with the provisions and regulations stipulated in this law.

Article 2
A public gathering is defined as a meeting of people in a public or private space where anyone is allowed to enter without a personal individual invitation.

Article 3
A procession is a march of ten or more people in a public road to express non-political opinions. or purposes.

Article 4
A demonstration is a gathering or procession of more than ten people in a public space to peacefully express their political opinions, demands, or protests.

Article 5
Public gatherings, processions, or demonstration are prohibited in places of worship. Participants are also prohibited from carrying any weapons, ammunition, explosives, fireworks, incendiary materials, and are also prohibited from wearing masks or covers that hides facial features.

Article 6
Those who want to organize a peaceful public convening, procession, or demonstration must notify the police station in charge of the area where the public gathering will be held or where the procession or demonstration will start. The notification must be sent at least twenty-four hours in advance of the start of the peaceful gathering, procession or demonstration. The notification must include the following data and information:

  1. The place where the public gathering is going to be held and the route the peaceful procession or demonstration is going to take place.
  2. The start and end time of the public gathering, procession, or demonstration.
  3.  A statement that includes the overall theme of the peaceful gathering, procession or demonstration, its purposes and the demand the participants are calling for.
  4. A record of the names of the organizers (people or associations) organizing the peaceful public gathering, procession, or demonstration

Article 7
The Minister of Interior or his deputy should immediately notify the concerned parties of the demands of the participants in the peaceful public gathering, procession, or demonstration to communicate with the organizers in order to try to find solutions to these demands or respond to them.

Article 8
The Minister of the Interior will issue a decision to form a committee in each province headed by the director of security. The committee will be tasked with specifying the restrictions and safeguards that secure the peaceful public gatherings, processions and demonstrations that they have been notified of. They are also tasked with determining the means to be used in the case it is no longer peaceful, and lives and public and private property are put at risk.

Article 9
Exercising the right to peaceful public gatherings, processions, or demonstrations must not be followed by sit-ins, sleeping at the venue, disturbing security, disturbing public order, disturbing citizens’ interests, putting citizens’ lives at risk, preventing citizens from practicing their rights and businesses, cutting off public roads, cutting off transportation routes on land, water, or air, disruption of traffic, assaulting or endangering the lives and private and public property.

Article 10
When there is sufficient evidence that one of the offenses set forth in the preceding article were committed by organizers or participants in the peaceful public gathering, procession or demonstration, before it begins, the minister of interior or director of security has the right to ask the ad hoc judge to cancel, postpone or move the gathering, procession, or demonstration to a different place or route. The judge must expeditiously issue his decision, as well as state his reasons for it. [Translation note: The language of this article does not make it clear if it is meant that the evidence relates to previous sit-ins or evidence that the participants plan to commit these offenses in the coming protest]

Article 11
The security forces are in charge of taking the necessary actions and measures to secure the public gathering, procession or demonstration, maintain the integrity of its participants, and protect their lives and public or private property, without obstructing the purpose of the gathering, procession or demonstration.

If the participants, during the public gathering, procession, or demonstration, behave in way that is considered a punishable crime, or violates the peaceful nature of expressing their opinion, security forces in official uniform have the right, based on orders from the field commander, to disperse the gathering, procession, or demonstration and arrest the perpetrators of the crime.    

The director of security in charge has the right to ask the ad hoc judge in the primary court to assign whoever he decides to prove the non-peaceful situation of the gathering, procession or demonstration.

Article 12
In the case of breaking up or dispersing a public gathering, procession, or demonstration, the security forces are committed to take actions and measures necessary to do so in the following order:

Verbal warnings from the field commander through loudspeakers to the participants in the public convening, procession or demonstration asking them to leave or dissolve their gathering.
  1. The use of water cannons.
  2. The use of tear gas.
  3. The use of batons.

Article 13
In case of breaking up or dispersing a public gathering, procession, or demonstration, security forces are not permitted to use any other procedures than what is stated in the preceding article, except for legitimate self-defense or the defense of capital/property, as is described in the law and in accordance with the rules laid down in the Police Act.

Article 14
The Governor in charge determines the secure, appropriate distance in front of the following locations, which are prohibited for participants in the processions or peaceful demonstration to pass, with at least fifty meters and not more than one hundred meters:

  • Presidential headquarters
  • Parliament/Shura Council
  • Headquarters of the ministries, ministers, and governorates
  • The headquarters of court houses, public prosecutors, international organizations, and foreign diplomatic missions.
  • Headquarters of police stations, security directorates, prisons, security bodies, regulatory authorities, and archaeological sites
 In all cases, it is not permissible for any individuals to enter these places to set up stages to speak or broadcast from, or to set up tents for the purpose of starting a sit-in.

Article 15
Every governor, taking into account the proper functioning and regularity of traffic, has the right to specify a sufficient area inside the governorate building where peaceful public gatherings, processions, or demonstrations can be held without prior notification. The decision must specify the maximum number of participants that can take part. In this case, the participants are prohibited from leaving the designated area, or from starting a sit-in, or spending the night.    

Article 16
Without prejudice to any more severe penalty in the Penal Code or any other law, actions set forth in the following articles shall be punishable:

Article 17
Receiving or offering money, or any other form of remuneration, to organize public gatherings, processions, or demonstrations is a violation of Article 9 and is punishable with imprisonment and a fine of not less than EGP 100,000 or mediate in it. Incitement of the crime, even if it does not occur, is also punishable by the same penalty.

Article 18
Anyone who violates the stipulations of Articles 5, 14, or 15 of this law is punishable with imprisonment and a fine of not less than EGP 50,000 and not more than EGP 100,000.

Article 19
Organizing a public gathering, procession, or demonstration without prior notification, in accordance with Article 6 of this law, is punishable with a fine of not less than EGP 1,000 and not more EGP 5,000.

Article 20
The court shall, in all cases, decide to confiscate materials, tools, or money used in the crime.

Article 21
The Law No. 10 of 1914 on gatherings and Law No. 14 of 1923 on reporting provisions related to public gatherings and demonstrations in public roads shall be cancelled and everything that contradicts this law provisions shall also be cancelled.

Article 21
This law shall be published in the Official Gazette, and shall be enacted as one of the state’s laws effective as of the following day of the date of issuance.

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