Cairo: Egypt’s president passed a law on Sunday making it illegal to hold demonstrations without the approval of the police and banning protests in places of worship, a move rights groups condemned as a blow to political freedom.
As the law was being announced by state media, thousands of anti-government protesters were on streets in Cairo and other cities, as they have been regularly in the nearly three years since a popular uprising ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
The number of protests and the scale of political violence have grown since July when the army removed elected Islamist President Mohamed Morsi following mass protests against his rule.
The bill signed into law by interim President Adli Mansour requires people to secure police permission for protests at least three days in advance, said presidential spokesman Ehab Badawi. It allows security forces to disperse illegal protests with water cannon, tear gas and birdshot.
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