Skip to main content

'You really love protesting': Sisi to review Egypt's protest law

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi says government will review country's controversial protest law, under which demonstrators can be jailed for up to two years
Egypt has banned all but police-sanctioned protests since Sisi came to power (AFP)

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has said the Egyptian government will look at revising a protest law under which hundreds of activists have been jailed, after international criticism.

The Egyptian president's comments came at the end of a two-day "youth conference" on Thursday, an effort to reach out to young Egyptians as the country braces for austerity reforms to salvage its battered economy.

Reading a series of conclusions at the end of the conference, Sisi said the government would look into revising the law passed in 2013, months after the former army chief overthrew his Muslim Brotherhood predecessor Mohamed Morsi.

"The government will undertake, in coordination with the relevent agencies, to study suggestions and proposals to amend the protest law," Sisi said, before he was interrupted by applause from the audience.

Sisi laughed and said "you really love protesting", adding that the revisions would be presented to parliament.

The law, which bans all but police-sanctioned protests, has been used to jail activists for up to two years.

The United Nations and rights groups had asked the Egyptian government to reconsider the law.

A crackdown on Islamist supporters of Morsi after his removal saw hundreds of demonstrators killed and tens of thousands jailed, including secular dissidents.

Amidst the crackdown, militant attacks in the divided country have also killed hundreds of soldiers and policemen.