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Egypt ends lengthy state of emergency

May 31, 2012 at 1:39 PM   |   Comments

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CAIRO, May 31 (UPI) -- The ruling military authority in Egypt announced Thursday it was formally ending a national state of emergency in place since 1981.

Human Rights Watch, in a statement Wednesday, called on Egyptian lawmakers to ensure the state of emergency "has no future" in the country. Joe Stork, deputy director for Middle East affairs at Human Rights Watch, said the measure represented an "abusive police state" left over from the Hosni Mubarak era that ended last year.

The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces announced Thursday it had lifted the state of emergency, Egyptian news service al-Ahram reports. SCAF said it would continue to oversee security operations until June 30, when a civilian government takes control of the country.

A state of emergency has been in place in Egypt since the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. An extension of the state of emergency was set to expire Thursday.

Egypt next month has a second round of elections to determine the country's first president since Mubarak was ousted in a popular revolution in early 2011.

Mohamed Morsi, the candidate from the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, and former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq square off in the second round of voting set for mid-June.

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