Cabinet spokesperson: Protest law here to stay

The government has announced that no changes will be made to the protest law, despite its local and international controversy.
"The law on demonstrations has received the consensus of people, and there is no intention to discuss it," said Ambassador Hossam al-Qawwesh, spokesman for the Cabinet, in a statement on Thursday.
"[The law] is issued and in effect and there is nothing new about it," said the Minister of Justice Saber Mahfouz.
During the inauguration on Thursday of Brolos District Court in Kafr al-Sheikh, Saber called on the people to adhere to the law as Egypt can no longer bear lawlessness.
The Administrative Court headed by Justice Abdel Wahab Mohamed Khafagy, vice president of the State Council and President of the Court, set several controls to peaceful demonstrations that included not to violate public order or morality, not to suspend production or hinder the interests of people, and not to attack property or out people's lives at risk.
The court added that after two consecutive revolutions in a short time, no official can muzzle Egyptian people even by force of law.
Activist Alaa Abdel Fattah called on Wednesday to cancel the law regulating protests, adding that the law is used against workers and students, and any opposition to the current regime.
A number of free and detained activists have announced a hunger strike against the same law including former presidential hopeful Khaled Ali.
Many figures have expressed concern over the past year of the law on protests, which states that groups must receive prior authorization from the Interior Ministry before staging a protest and justifies the arrest of protesters. These figures argue that the law is a step back on Egypt's transition to democracy as it stifles free speech.
Hamdeen Sabbahi, former presidential candidate, argued that the law broke the 30 June pact, as many of the liberal forces who aided the army in pushing for former President Mohamed Morsy's ouster are now in jail because of the law.
The United Nations, the European Union and the United States have also expressed concern regarding Egypt's protest law, saying it should be amended to provide free speech, which was a promise under the democratic path set forth by the army after Morsy's ouster.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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