A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, May 31, 2012

SCAF Lifts State of Emergency in Egypt

Egypt's State of Emergency, in continuous force for nearly 31 years, will end at midnight tonight, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has announced, SCAF has also "reassured" the country that it will maintain security until the handover of power June 30.

The State of Emergency, which has been in force since the assassination of Anwar Sadat, has provided the legal justification for a wide range of measures, including trying civilians in military courts.

Though most headlines are emphasizing that the Emergency lasted 31 years, in fact Egypt was also under a State of Emergency from the June 1967 War until after the original Camp David accords. That was lifted in 1980, but some 18 months later Sadat was assassinated in October 1981. So except for that 18-month period, Egypt has been under an Emergency for 45 years.

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