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Egypt government ends curfew, state of emergency

Egypt's government on Tuesday lifted the country's state of emergency and evening curfew, which have been in place since August 14. An adviser to Prime Minster Hazem el-Beblawi [BBC profile] reported to the BBC that the state of emergency and the curfew were both lifted [BBC report] at 4:00 PM local time. A court ruling prompted the move, and the government said it would wait for the text of the court ruling to lift the measures. The measures were expected to end last month, but the government extended them on September 12. Both measures had permitted Egyptian authorities to make arrests without warrants and to search people's homes. They had been introduced following the death of hundreds of people in pro-Mohammed Morsi [BBC backgrounder] camps while the authorities clearing of the camps in the capital following Morsi's ouster [JURIST report] in July.

Following the Egyptian Revolution [JURIST backgrounder] over two years ago, the nation continues to struggle with political turmoil. The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters last Wednesday upheld its September ruling [JURIST reports] to ban the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood [BBC backgrounder, JURIST news archive] in Egypt and confiscate all assets of the Islamist group. In recent weeks, senior leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood have faced a combination of legal delays and legal action meant to weaken the group's influence. Earlier this month, the trial of Mohammed Morsi, the deposed president of Egypt, was adjourned until January [JURIST report]. In late October, Egypt security forces arrested Essam el-Erian [JURIST report], a senior Brotherhood leader, who has been on the run since the removal of Morsi in July. Also last week three criminal court judges presiding over a Muslim Brotherhood trial resigned without elaboration [JURIST report].

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