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Egyptian human rights group files lawsuit to annul repressive assembly law

This statement was originally published on cihrs.org on 1 February 2017.

The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) filed a petition on 31 January 2017 with the State Council seeking an injunction against Law 10/1914 on assembly, also known as the "Assembly Law".

The injunction is based on the findings of CIHRS's report, Toward the Emancipation of Egypt, which documented the Assembly Law's repeal 89 years ago. The petition was filed in conjunction with lawyers Negad al-Borai, Mohamed Salah al-Ansary, Maha Youssef, and Zyad al-Eleimi on behalf of 17 prominent Egyptian public figures that include heads of political parties, representatives of the journalists syndicate, and leaders of independent human rights organizations. CIHRS urges citizens and institutions to file similar suits to annul the Assembly Law, by using the petition attached or by joining the first hearing of this suit.

The petition was filed on behalf of (in alphabetical order): Abd al-Moneim Abu al-Futouh, Ahdaf Soueif, Ahmed Douma, Aida Seif al-Dawla, Alaa Abd al-Fattah, Amr, Hamzawy, Azza Suleiman, Bahey eldin Hassan, Emad Mubarak, Farid Zahran, Khaled al-Balshi, Khaled Daoud, Magda Adli, Mohamed Ahmed Zaree, Mohamed Ali Zaree, Mohamed Lotfy, Ziad Abdel Tawab

It was filed against President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in his official capacity, the Prime Minister in his official capacity, the Minister of Justice in his official capacity, the Minister of Industry in his official capacity, and the Chairman of the Board of the General Authority for Royal Presses.

CIHRS's report demonstrates that the Assembly Law, issued 103 years ago by British colonial authorities during World War I, was unanimously repealed by both chambers of the Egyptian parliament on January 30, 1928. The report shows that the repeal law was not vetoed by King Fouad by the deadline set by the 1923 Constitution and that, in turn, under the legal rules in force at the time, the Assembly Law was repealed and annulled.

However, King Fouad's intransigence and refusal to publish the repeal law in the Official Gazette prevented its promulgation. Accordingly, this petition seeks the publication of the 1928 law repealing the Assembly. Furthermore, it seeks an injunction against the implementation of its attendant effects; first and foremost, through a stay on the enforcement of the repealed law, the release of all persons detained under it, and the compensation of all persons harmed as a result of it.

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