Controversial protest bill advances to Shura Council

Prime Minister Hesham Qandil has referredcontroversial legislation regulating protests and another bill regarding the protection of witnesses and police informants to the Shura Council .

Both drafts, which had been approved in an earlier Cabinet meeting, were referred to the Shura Council on Sunday, spokesperson Alaa al-Hadidy said in a statement posted on the Cabinet's Facebook page.

Supporters of the proposed protest law claim it meets international democratic standards, while opponents fear the increased power it would grant the state in restricting and quelling protests. The bill requires protest organizers to inform authorities of a demonstration at least three days in advance. It also would give police the right to divert the course of protests and stop people from using signs or slogans deemed blasphemous or as inciting violence.

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