UPDATE l Egypt police disperse first protest after new law passed

Monday 25-11-2013 08:42 PM
UPDATE l Egypt police disperse first protest after new law passed

Clashes at al-Azhar University between students and security forces in Cairo on October 20, 2013. Reuters


CAIRO, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Egyptian security forces fired tear-gas and dispersed university students who had defied a law passed on Sunday that restricts demonstrations, the state news agency reported on Monday.

Students of Al-Azhar University and Assiut University in Assiut province, south of Cairo, staged a protest in defiance of the new law, chanting protest against the army and police.

Separately, in the first move to implement the law, the Interior Ministry approved requests for protests by lawyers and political activists in front of the lawyers' syndicate in Cairo and the State Council in Giza, it said.

"The Interior Ministry calls on all to comply with the regulations in the law, and to cooperate with the security apparatus to secure these events, not to disrupt traffic or the interests of citizens," it said on its official Facebook page.

Egypt has undergone some of the worst civilian violence in decades after the army, prompted by mass protests, ousted the country's first democratically elected leader Mohamed Mursi on July 3. It has since introduced a political roadmap that would lead to new elections next year.

Hundreds of his supporters were killed when security forces stormed two pro-Mursi camps on August 14 and thousands were arrested under a crackdown against members of his Muslim Brotherhood group, whom the government accuses of supporting violence and terrorism.

The Muslim Brotherhood denies any links to violence and describes the army's move to oust Mursi as a military coup.

Despite the ratification of the new law, activists in the country which has ousted two presidents in less than three years through mass protests, vow to defy the law that they describe as a violation of their right to protest.

"The unfair protest law will be broken," said Ahmed Mahler whose April 6 movement helped lead the uprising against autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak in 2011. (Reporting by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Ralph Boulton)

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