Police fire water cannon to disperse Egypt rally

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's police have fired water cannons to disperse dozens of activists protesting police brutality in Cairo, the security forces' first implementation of a controversial new law forbidding protests held without a permit from authorities.

The law has raised a storm of criticism from rights groups and political factions who say its heavy restrictions on protests violate freedom of expression and will silence opposition from Islamists and non-Islamists alike.

Around 100 secular protesters held a rally Wednesday in downtown Cairo to commemorate the death of a protester at the hands of police a year ago.

A police spokesman, Maj. Gen. Abdel-Fattah Othman, told the private CBC station that the rally was dispersed because organizers had not sought a permit from security officials as required by the new law.