Egypt's interim president signed
into law on Sunday a bill that rights groups have said sharply
curbs the rights of citizens to assemble and protest peacefully.
State television reported that Adli Mansour had signed the
bill, which requires protesters to receive advance permission
from the police before gathering.
In the nearly three years since President Hosni Mubarak
ousted in a popular uprising, Egyptians have taken to the street
regularly to air their grievances.
Rights groups had urged Mansour to reject the draft
presented to him by the cabinet installed after the army
overthrew President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood
"The draft law seeks to criminalise all forms of peaceful
assembly, including demonstrations and public meetings, and
gives the state free hand to disperse peaceful gatherings by use
of force," read a joint statement issued on Friday by 19
Egyptian rights groups.