| Egypt’s three decade old state of emergency was lifted by the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) on Thursday.
The SCAF said it would continue to provide security to Egypt ahead of a power transfer to a civilian-led government in late June.
The military council “will continue to take responsibility to protect the national security of the nation and citizens… given the end of the state of emergency declared in accordance with the constitution and law,” the Al-Bawaba newspaper reported, citing state media.
“The state of emergency ended today,” said a public television announcement, according to Al-Bawaba.
The state of emergency was instated in 1981 after leader Anwar el-Sadat was assassinated by Islamists, leading to the rule of President Hosni Mubarak. It was then renewed continuously. On May 31 it expires and will not be renewed.
Switzerland-based Alkarama and New York-based Human Rights Watch earlier on Thursday called on Egypt to do away with the law in a joint statement, saying that it was a hallmark of Mubarak’s rule. Mubarak was ousted from power in February 2011.
“Lifting the State of Emergency has been one of the major recommendations of the United Nations human rights protection entities for the past 20 years,” said Rachid Mesli of Alkarama. “It is high time for the Egyptian people to live protected by the rule of law, without any exceptions.”
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