11/13/2013, 00.00
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Egypt: State of emergency revoked, curfew remains in some areas

The special law came into force on 14 August, during clashes with the Muslim Brotherhood . On the orders of an Egyptian court, the new measure will come into effect this afternoon . The army says it will continue to apply the state of emergency and curfew in sensitive areas waiting for an official notification.

Cairo ( AsiaNews / Agencies) - Egypt has recalled the "state of emergency" which entered into force on 14 August after clashes with supporters of former President Mohamed Morsi and Islamist attacks by Islamic extremists against Christians. An Egyptian court has in fact ordered a halt to the special laws which impose a curfew from one o'clock until seven in the morning. The authorities had set for tomorrow as the date for the expiry of the measure. According to international observers, the end state of emergency is " a positive step towards a return to normalcy in the country ."

The Egyptian government had decided to extend the state of emergency for another two months in mid-September, because of the constant Islamist attacks on Christians and military positions in the region of Sinai. The measure is expected to come into force today at 16.00 (local time) .

Sherif Shawky , spokesman for the Egyptian government Cabinet, said that the authorities accept the court's decision and that the special law will be revoked in accordance with the judgment of the court. However, Ahmed Ali , army spokesman , said that they are waiting for an official notification and in the meantime  the military "will continue to enforce the curfew ." The measure has already entered into force in Sharm el- Sheikh and around the Red Sea governorate .

According to the interim constitution launched by President Adli Mansour , the extension of the state of emergency would require a referendum. In recent months, the special law gave the military the power to arrest people who violated the curfew hours . This allowed the detention of more than 2 thousand Islamists , including most of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, now in jail along with former President Morsi .

The law that provides a state of emergency has been applied on several occasions from 1967 to 1981 . After the death of President Anwar al- Sadat in 1981 , his successor Hosni Mubarak extended the measure indefinitely. It was only revoked in February 2011 , the year of the fall of the leader following the protests of the Arab Spring .


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