Ministerial official says body working to amend disputed protest law

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CAIRO — The spokesman of Egypt's transitional justice ministry says the body is drafting amendments to the country's disputed protest law, which bans demonstrations without a police permit.

Mahmoud Abdel-Bari says on Tuesday that the ministry will announce a draft law within days.

Amendments could include lighter penalties and changes in procedures related to obtaining permits from police, he said.

The changes were initially presented by the state-run National Human Rights Council following a discussion over the law between its head and President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

The law was enacted last year after the military ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi following mass demonstrations demanding his resignation.

It was meant to stifle Islamists' near daily demonstrations which frequently descended into violence. However authorities have used it to stifle all demonstrations, including secular ones.

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