, CAIRO, Jan 24 – Egypt’s military ruler said that the country’s decades-old state of emergency will be lifted on Wednesday, the first anniversary of the uprising that brought down president Hosni Mubarak.
“I have taken a decision to end the state of emergency, in all parts of the country, except in fighting acts of thuggery, starting on the morning of January 25, 2012,” Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi said Tuesday in a televised address.
The controversial emergency law – which has been continuously in place since Islamists assassinated president Anwar Sadat in 1981 – had been regularly extended under Mubarak’s rule.
Last year the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces widened the scope of the law – restricted in 2010 to narcotics and terrorism – to include labour strikes, traffic disruption and the spread of false information.
The lifting of the emergency law was a key demand of protesters who took to the streets last year to call for democratic change and demand the ouster of Mubarak.