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Home > Country focus > Egypt > Government Endeavors to Enact Law that Criminalizes Painting on Walls, (...)

Government Endeavors to Enact Law that Criminalizes Painting on Walls, Aiming to Confiscate “Graffiti”

Wednesday 6 November 2013, by The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, ANHRI, expresses its annoyance over the press statements released by Gen. Adel Labib, Local Development Minister, concerning a new bill criminalizing graffiti, which will be presented to the cabinet to be approved.

Local Development Ministry secretly drafted this law and it hasn’t viewed its articles on the public opinion so far. The law stipulates that whoever writes abusive graffiti on walls of governmental as well as private buildings would be carried a four-year sentence and fined EGP 100,000, besides confiscating the used tools in paintings or writing. The minister had announced about forming committees in neighborhoods to monitor those who write such abusive phrases on walls.

ANHRI strongly condemned the Egyptian authorities for insisting on effacing facts and landmarks of the revolution that the people try to document it. After the Egyptian authorities failed to erase the graffiti, which documents different phases of the revolution on walls, now they endeavor to enact a law to prosecute the graffiti artists; aiming to jail them.

This bill is part of a series of repressive laws, which restrict the freedoms, are being enacted by the Egyptian authorities. The interim president, Adly Mansour, has previously approved amendments on the Egyptian Criminal Procedure Code. Further, the president seeks to approve the terrorism and protest laws, which confiscate the right to protest peacefully and allow the state to take arbitrary procedures against the organizations, political parties and peaceful demonstrations, through stretching the term “terrorism” to allow the authorities use it against the political opponents.

ANHRI said that, “Art of graffiti is one of the revolution’s gains. The artists, activists and political movements use the wall as a way to express their opinions and document the incidents of the revolution as well, away from the repeated lies of the Egyptian authorities that seek to efface the history of the revolution and to confiscate the right to voice opinion through graffiti”

At the time that ANHRI warns the Egyptian government of following the footsteps of the former ones in making laws that will not achieve the revolution’s aims, it reiterates its pleading to the interim president, Adly Mansour, to stop using the temporary special legislative power granted to him in enacting legislations that restrict the freedoms. Further, he should use this power in enacting legislations necessary to resume the transition period after providing to societal deliberation.

SOURCE: http://www.anhri.net/en/?p=14191

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