1 Jun 2012

Emergency law ends in Egypt

10:37 pm on 1 June 2012

An emergency law that gave Egypt's security forces almost unlimited power to detain suspects and try them in special courts has passed into history.

The law has been in place without interruption since the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in 1981, expired at midnight on Thursday, the BBC reports.

Lifting the law was a key demand of activists in last year's uprising against President Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt's military rulers, who took charge after the ousting of Mr Mubarak, indicated they would not renew it

The emergency law was a key feature of the rule of President Mubarak, who repeatedly broke promises to lift it.

At one point, human rights groups estimated there were more than 10,000 people in detention - many of them disappearing in Egyptian prisons.