Protesters burst onto Egyptian streets on Tuesday in defiance of a new, restrictive peaceful assembly bill introduced by interim president Adly Mansour on Sunday — promptly implemented Monday — that human rights groups are saying “gives security forces free reign.”
Egyptian police responded to the protests by launching teargas canisters and water cannons into crowds of hundreds at the Press Syndicate and parliament in Cairo.
The demonstrators had gathered to commemorate the death of an activist in the midst of clashes with police two years ago, Reuters reported, but did so without the now mandatory police approval.
The state news agency has so far reported that 20 of the protesters, who were also chanting "down, down with military rule," were arrested, while ousted president Mohamed Morsi supporters continued to hold their own protests throughout the country.
The new law orders that protests at places of worship are verboten, and permits the Interior Ministry the right to disallow “any public meeting of more than 10 people.”
As the United States and rights groups condemn the action as one that “does not meet international standards and hampers the country's move toward democracy,” Egyptian authorities are asserting that the legislation is intended to “restore order to the streets,” and to stop the disruption of traffic.
On Tuesday, GlobalPost spoke with Deena Adel Eid, an Egyptian reporter now based in New York City, to get some context on what the new law means for those on Egypt’s streets. Here is what she had to say: