Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) [NYT backgrounder] announced Tuesday that Eygpt's state of emergency [JURIST news archive] that has been in effect for nearly 30 years would be lifted later this week. Tantawi did indicate that some of the powers from the state of emergency would remain in effect [AP report] against certain crimes. Tantawi made the announcement [BBC report] on the anniversary of the start of the Egyptian revolution [JURIST news archive], which led former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak [Al Jazeera profile; JURIST news archive] to step down from the office [JURIST report] in February of last year. The SCAF had previously tried to lift the state of emergency in August but reinstated in a month later after an attack on the Israeli Embassy [JURIST reports].
Last week, a report from Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] called on [JURIST report] Egypt's newly elected parliament to pursue an agenda to reform nine areas of Egyptian law that impede freedom and restrict rights. Among the suggestions was a call to lift the state of emergency. Earlier in January, Egyptian prosecutors began their case [JURIST report] against Mubarak, who is facing charges of complicity by ordering the killings of at least 840 protesters [JURIST report] during the revolution. Some commentators have recommended [JURIST op-ed] that the SCAF separate its economic and political power to allow for greater prosperity in Egypt.