Egypt’s interim president Adly Mansour signs ‘anti-protest law’

Egypt's interim president Adly Mansour signs 'anti-protest law' 1

Egypt’s interim president, Adly Mansour, has enacted a new protest law that rights groups say will severely curtail freedom of assembly and could prohibit the kinds of mass demonstrations that forced presidents Hosni Mubarak and Mohamed Morsi from power.

The law will force would-be protesters to seek seven separate permissions to take to the streets and ban overnight sit-ins, such as the Tahrir Square protests of early 2011. Activists will have to go to court to appeal against any rejected applications – restriction lawyers argue will render legal demonstration almost impossible.

The law also bans any unsanctioned gatherings – either in public or private – of 10 or more people and will give the police the final say on whether a protest can occur. As a result, the law is deemed just as restrictive as a similar protest bill debated and later discarded under Morsi, whose own authoritarian instincts contributed to his downfall. His version – which the same official wrote – would have made demonstrators seek five separate permissions instead of seven but outlined more draconian punishments.

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“This law brings Mubarak’s era back,” said Gamal Eid, the director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information and one of Egypt’s leading human rights laws. Eid even argued that the new law compared unfavorably with repressive legislation drafted while Egypt was still a British protectorate.

“Weirdly, the colonialists would have a law that is more just than the supposedly post-revolutionary one,” he added.

The law has been the subject of fierce debate in Egypt, where activists see its enactment as a litmus test for democracy in the post-Morsi era.

Nineteen Egyptian rights groups signed a joint statement last week condemning the bill while it was being debated.

Human Rights Watch said the law “would effectively give the police carte blanche to ban protest in Egypt.” HRW added that it “could severely restrict the freedom of assembly of political parties and nongovernmental groups” and was “an important indicator of the extent to which the new government is going to allow for political space in Egypt.”

In the short term, the law will particularly affect pro-Morsi supporters, who have mounted near-daily demonstrations in many Egyptian towns and cities since his removal in July, disrupting urban life. In Cairo on Sunday, traffic was brought to a standstill in several parts of the capital after pro-Morsi protests led administrators to lock down key areas.

“We grew up in Wildervank, a tiny village in the north of Holland. It becomes an extreme upbringing – spiritual. My parents had been artists, hippies – they contemplated loads. They believed we should become whatever we desired. When I told them I wanted to be an actress, aged six, my father constructed me a theater in our residence with real wings.” The performing concept came thru a babysitter: “My mother and father did no longer want us to observe transferring photographs, they notion it terrible for the soul – Rudolf Steiner’s philosophy. But the babysitter got so uninterested in all our wooden toys; she took us to the cinema to look at Annie. I notion, OK, this is my calling.” At thirteen, Van Hove’s production of [the Alban Berg opera] Lulu clinched it: “Lulu became raw, animalistic and very horny – not like in magazines. I couldn’t discover somewhere else what I wanted to be but right here become this woman – so stylish yet reputedly without borders.”

The private existence phase of Reijn’s Wikipedia entry flags up her friendship with Dutch actress Carice van Houten (Melisandre in Game of Thrones). I even have in no way visible a friendship highlighted like this in Wikipedia, particularly while it is spelled out that theirs isn’t always a homosexual relationship. She laughs: “We’re quality buddies, we’re the same age and did Chekhov’s The Seagull and plenty of movies collectively. People in Holland are obsessed with our friendship. I love Carice – she could be very critical of my lifestyle. However, the public interest in us may be a chunk weird.” She believes it is in part because of a “huge – highly latest – obsession with a superstar in Holland.”

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But she admits they fanned the flames of the hobby too: “We overlooked operating together and, in 2012, determined to cowrite an anti-style manual [it became a bestseller]. Dutch is glamorous but has stains on your Prada, gets dressed, and does the entirety wrong. The e-book changed into approximately the significance of being nutter – grounded.” (I am getting to know quite a piece of Dutch in an hour.) “We’ve also begun an employer devoted to indicates written for and through girls. We’re the daughters of feminists, and even as we like wearing pink clothes and high heels, it’s far essential to look some other aspect to that bullshit.”

She speaks warmly of the Netherlands, and we communicate approximately the relief of the current election’s trouncing of the right. We contact at the captivating pictures of Dutch residents (including suitable politicians) currently published on social media preserving palms in harmony with the homosexual couple attacked using a homophobic gang inside the east of the Netherlands. “I revel in the Netherlands as extra or much less tolerant. With the journeying I’ve been doing, I’ve by no means realized more how a lot I love my country. It sounds almost nationalistic, which I am not at all.” But Reijn then well-known shows that Dutch theater history has no longer reflected this tolerance. She relates the startling story of the 60s theater revolution. At the same time, the protest institution Action Tomato determined classical theater have to quit and new theatrical forms be found: “They threw tomatoes at classical rep organizations – it becomes demanding for actors.” There has been a rebalancing since (Shakespeare has made a comeback), and Reijn now sees the absence of culture as a mixed blessing (no longer sufficient Dutch playwrights, however endless possibilities for invention).