Muslim Brotherhood supporters
Muslim Brotherhood supportersAFP photo

Egypt's temporary president, Adli Mansour, on Sunday signed a special order that severely limits the right to protest. According to the new law, all protests will require permits from police. Any group that attempts to hold a public gathering without such permits will find its members carted off to prison.

The order comes as a response to the ongoing protests by opponents of Egypt's military rulers, who unseated former president Mohammed Morsi earlier this year. Protests, which have never really simmered down since Morsi was deposed last July, have increased in number and severity in recent days, as Morsi went on trial earlier this month for incitement to violence.

Supporters of Morsi have been staging near daily demonstrations calling for his reinstatement since he was deposed by the military. Demonstrations have often resulted in clashes with security forces and residents against the Muslim Brotherhood, which the Egyptian army continues to pursue relentlessly in its deserts redoubts in Sinai.

The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL), which supports Morsi, has called for an increase in protests to restore "the forcefully kidnapped legitimate president," who is being "deprived of his legal rights." The group slammed the new order, saying that it was another step in the direction of full dictatorship in Egypt.

More than 1,000 people have been killed since Morsi's ouster - mainly his supporters - and the authorities have arrested some 2,000 Islamists, including most of the Muslim Brotherhood's leadership.