Cairo: A state of emergency has been lifted in Egypt, three months after it was imposed during a crackdown on Islamist protesters.
The state of emergency ended last night. According to reports, the Interior Ministry is ready to take over the responsibility of security but the army is working with it to protect churches.
An Egyptian court on Wednesday had ordered an end to the state of emergency, which was announced on August 14, the day the military-backed government dispersed two large protest camps in Cairo set up by supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
Hundreds of people, mainly Morsi supporters, were killed in clashes during the crackdown, while Islamists elsewhere retaliated by attacking security forces and Christian churches, businesses and homes.
By virtue of the state of emergency, a curfew was also imposed. The state of emergency granted broad powers of arrest to soldiers deployed on the streets, especially during curfew hours.
"The curfew will continue in place in Egypt`s North Sinai because security forces have not been ordered to lift it," a security source said today.
Farid al-Deeb, head of former president Hosni Mubarak`s defence team, said his client is free to move across Egypt after the lifting of the state of emergency.
"He can move across Egypt freely," Deeb claimed. Legal expert Shawqi al-Sayyed said: "By suspending the state of emergency, executive authorities will not have rights to suppress freedom of citizens, Mubarak or anyone."
Sources told local media that "Mubarak prefers to stay in the military hospital so as not to embarrass the military- backed ruling authorities."
Mubarak`s retrial on charges of killing protesters during the January 25, 2011 revolution will resume tomorrow. Earlier he was handed a life sentence last year in the case.
Mubarak was placed under house arrest as he was cleared in other cases. Egypt has been under almost continuous emergency law since 1967, with breaks in 1981 and after president Hosni Mubarak`s overthrow in early 2011.