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Egyptian law criticized by rights group

Feb. 25, 2013 at 4:54 PM

NEW YORK, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- A proposed Egyptian law concerning public demonstrations would limit peaceful public assembly and would be open to police abuse, Human Rights Watch said.

The humanitarian group, based in New York, outlined its concerns in a letter to Egypt's president and Justice Ministry, it said in a news release.

The letter urged the government to amend its "Law on the Protection of the Right to Peacefully Demonstrate in Public Places," which was approved by the Egyptian cabinet on Feb. 12 and was sent to Egyptian Parliament Feb. 17.

Key concerns in the legislation, Human Rights Watch said, are the vague terms prohibiting demonstrations that interfere with "citizen's interests" or halt traffic.

A violation of either, it claimed, would allow police to forcibly disperse a protest.

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