May 31st, 2012
10:07 AM ET

Egypt lifts unpopular emergency law

Egypt's emergency law - which was in place for more than 30 years - has been lifted, a spokesman for the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said Thursday.

The unpopular and wide-ranging law became a focal point for demonstrations demanding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak more than a year ago.

The emergency law gave authorities broad leeway to arrest citizens and hold them indefinitely without charges, according to Human Rights Watch. It was first enacted in 1958.

Although it was suspended during the rule of President Anwar Sadat, it had been in place since Mubarak took power in 1981, according to the group.

Abolishing the emergency law was on top of the lists of demands announced by pro-democracy protesters during the 2011 uprising.

The law was partially suspended by the country's military rulers early this year, but critics said that move didn't go far enough.

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Filed under: Arab Spring • Egypt
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. saywhat

    For thirty years we were successful in keeping Egypt under this pall by aiding and abetting? Isn't that something.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  2. saywhat

    Hey @bobcat
    You seem to be in good spirits as usual. Enjoy your sandwich and take care.

    May 31, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. Greek American

    So now Egyptians have more rights than we do? Great!

    May 31, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |