CAIRO, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- A new Egyptian law that requires protesters to get police permits before assembling was approved by President Adly Mansour, officials said.
Supporters of the law say it will allow police to ensure demonstrations are conducted peacefully, but opponents contend it fails to protect freedom of assembly and promotes "heavy-handed" state intervention, Ahram Online reported Sunday.
Violators of the law will face fines, the website said.
Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi said the law will protect the rights of protesters and will not prevent them from demonstrating.
A statement from about 19 rights groups said the law "seeks to criminalize all forms of peaceful assembly, including demonstrations and public meetings, and gives the state free hand to disperse peaceful gatherings by using force," al-Masry al-Youm reported.