Accessibility links

Breaking News

Egypt Court Decrees End Of State Of Emergency

A Cairo court has declared the end of the 3-month-old state of emergency and nighttime curfew in Egypt.

The November 12 announcement by the Cairo Administrative Court came two days earlier than was widely expected.

The military-backed government did not immediately implement the decision, saying it would wait for formal notification from the court.

The court's decree was welcomed by the government’s ally, the United States.

However, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki voiced continued concern over the situation, saying Washington urges the government to “respect the rights of all Egyptians,” including to peacefully protest and to due process in civilian courts.

"We urge the government to respect the rights of all Egyptians. This includes ensuring that Egyptians on all sides can peacefully exercise their right to freedom of assembly and expression, as well as ensuring due process and that all civilians arrested are referred only to civilian courts," Psaki said. " So we welcome it, but there are other steps of concern."

The state of emergency was declared August 14 as violence gripped Egypt after the military’s ouster of Islamist-backed President Muhammad Morsi.

Hundreds Killed

Hundreds of people, mainly Morsi supporters, were killed in clashes and thousands were arrested during a crackdown by the security forces.

The size and intensity of protests has waned in the months since the state of emergency, which gives soldiers wide powers to detain civilians, and the 0100 to 0500 curfew were imposed.

Egypt’s military removed the democratically elected Morsi from office on July 3 and installed an interim government led by President Adli Mansour.

Morsi, whose Muslim Brotherhood supporters have condemned his removal from office as an illegal coup, is currently on trial on charges of inciting the murder of protesters outside the presidential palace in December 2012.

The state of emergency was declared August 14, but the government had it renewed for two months on September 12.

The Cairo court says this means it ended on November 12.

The declaration that the state of emergency has ended comes with the government facing renewed pressure from activists over controversial new legislation that would further restrict the right to protest by forcing organizers to seek a permit to hold any gathering.

Reports say the law appears likely to be approved soon.

In a sign of the tensions that continue to roil the country, a top Egyptian football club has suspended one of its players for celebrating a goal by making a hand gesture seen as supportive of Morsi.

The Al-Ahly club also said it would offer to sell forward Ahmed Abdel Zaher at the end of the season.

The player has said making the four-finger gesture was a mistake and that he is prepared to accept punishment.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters
  • 16x9 Image


    RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.