CAIRO: The Administrative Court postponed until Nov. 16 the examination of a lawsuit filed by the April 6 Youth Movement, demanding the right to demonstrate.
The lawsuit condemns the Ministry of Interior’s role in obstructing demonstrators instead of securing the demonstrations, according to the Egyptian constitution and international conventions that guarantee the right to demonstrate.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) had filed the lawsuit in the name of three members of the April 6 Movement — Ahmed Maher, Mohamed Adel and Amr Ali — after security services prevented the movement from holding a demonstration on April 6 and arrested a number of its members.
The movement had notified the Cairo Security Directorate at the end of March that the group was planning a peaceful march on April 6 from Tahrir Square to the Parliament building. But the Cairo Security Directorate responded by warning the Movement against holding the demonstration.
Mohamed Adel told Daily News Egypt that "the lawsuit stresses that security services violate the constitution by preventing demonstrations."
"We are against having to receive prior authorization from security services before a demonstration," he added.
George Ishaq, co-founder of the Kefaya Movement for Change and a senior member of the National Association for Change, however, believes that the lawsuit could harm initiatives advocating the right to demonstrate.
"The lawsuit has negative effects on the right to demonstrate because it takes us back many years before we succeeded in establishing that right and actually practicing it on the street despite police brutality.
"The Egyptian constitution and international conventions guarantee the right to demonstrate and we don’t need to resort to a judicial controversy, which won’t amount to anything," he said.
Gamal Eid, director of ANHRI, however, defended the lawsuit.
"The main purpose of the lawsuit is to send a message to the international community that there are activists in Egypt who respect the law and try to practice the right to demonstrate according to the law, but the police prevent that right without any legal or constitutional grounds," he explained.