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Published On: Fri, Nov 30th, 2012

Egypt protests continue as the new constitution empowering Morsi moves forward

Friday marked the beginning of the new Egyptian constitution as protesters continue to flood the streets of Cairo.

The politicians haggled for 21 hours over 234 articles to get the draft to President Mohamed Morsi tomorrow, the leader who assumed leadership and angered citizens by assuming more power last week.

Massive crowds return to Tahrir Square to protest the “power grab” by President Morsi photo Essam Sharaf

Protests have been large, boisterous and occasionally violent. The opposition picked up steam after the president issued an edict last week that, among other things, made his decisions since taking office in June immune from judicial oversight.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators packed the square Cairo’s Tahrir Square Tuesday angered at Morsi’s power grab and dozens have remained camped out ever since, with clashes in nearby streets between police and protesters erupting daily.

The new constitution will be the new law replaced the temporary provisions installed after the ousting of Hosni Mubarak.

Heba Morayef, Human Rights Watch Egypt director, said some of the draft articles on freedom of expression and religion resemble a “penal code.”

“Some of the provisions are penal code provisions. You don’t list all the things that you are not allowed to do, you’re supposed to set up the rights and limitations,” she said.

Particularly worrisome was the limitation of religious freedom to followers of Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Islam and Judaism), Morayef said, which would exclude minorities such as Bahais that have been persecuted in Egypt.

“They have added language that is problematic to freedom of expression. You cannot ‘insult a human,’ which is very broad. It can be used to censor criticism of the president,” she said.

Several private newspapers announced that they would not appear on the street next Tuesday to protest what they consider to be a lack of press guarantees in the new charter.

Abdallah Sennawi, a member of the Committee to Defend Freedom of Expression and Thought, said private television channels would follow suit on Wednesday.

Morsi’s decree, described by the opposition as dictatorial, stripped courts of the right to annul the controversial constituent assembly ahead of an expected court ruling on Sunday.

 

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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