Sisi promises amendment of protest law, reviewing cases of detainees

Friday 28-10-2016 01:35 PM

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi during the first National Youth Conference on Oct 27, 2016. Photo courtesy of the Egyptian presidency

CAIRO, Oct 28 (Aswat Masriya) - Egypt's president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi decided on Thursday to establish a committee to review the status of youth imprisoned without conviction and promised to consider possible amendments of the controversial protest law.

Sisi made his statements at the National Youth Conference which was concluded on Thursday.

He said that the committee, supervised by the presidency, will conduct thorough examination of cases of young people in prison without conviction. It will coordinate with state authorities and will present its findings within 15 days maximum.

Depending on each case, the appropriate action will be taken within the powers conferred upon him by the constitution, he added.

Egypt has been facing wide local and international criticism during the past few years over purported extended periods of pre-trial detention and crackdown on the freedom of belief and expression. 

During the conference, Sisi said the government will coordinate with relevant state authorities to study the suggestions and proposals to amend the protest law.

The proposed amendments "will be included in the set of proposed legislation planned to be presented to parliament during the current session," he added.

Since its issuance in November 2013, the law has been widely criticised by domestic and international human rights organisations which say it violates international standards that allow for peaceful protests.

The law imposes restrictions on protests and stipulates that protesters must obtain a permit from the interior ministry beforehand.

Many Egyptians, mostly youth, have been detained and convicted of violating the law and protesting without obtaining prior approval from the interior ministry.

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