The Administrative Court referred a lawsuit to the State’s Commissioner Authority asking the government to issue a law to criminalise the use of the Rabaa Al-Adaweya hand gesture.
The lawsuit was filed by Tarek Mahmoud, legal advisor for the Popular Front against the “Brotherhoodisation” of Egypt.
According to Mahmoud, the Rabaa sign is related to violence and vandalism. “Wherever there is a Rabaa sign there is violence, as the Rabaa sign is a sign for the initiation of violence wherever it’s raised,” he said.
Additionally, the sign is sometimes raised in international conferences, “an insult to the country’s dignity”, and so it should be criminalised, he added.
Amr Hassan, a lawyer for the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE), said that a criminalisation would violate the freedom of expression. The Rabaa sign, four raised fingers, represents an expression of people’s opinion and show solidarity with people present at the Rabaa Al-Adaweya dispersal in August 2013, he said.
Hassan noted that it is not a sign for the initiation of violence, nor does it symbolise violence or vandalism, adding that it is expected the lawsuit will be rejected.