Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi decision to end the country’s state of emergency for the first time in years was met with positive reactions from Egyptian social media and civil society.
The state of emergency started in April 2017 after deadly bombings of churches and has since routinely extended at three-month intervals.
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) said that the decision is a positive step in the right direction.
EIPR Executive Director Hossam Bahgat welcomed the decision, saying it would stop the use of emergency state security courts.
Several social media users have also expressed their happiness for the decision. Some tweeted that the “President’s decision to end the state of emergency in Egypt is an official announcement of our victory over terrorism and the transformation of our country into a safe environment suitable for global investment.”
Similarly, Ramy Yaacoub, Executive Director of The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy tweeted: “Promising news, a step in the right direction for Egypt.”
Meanwhile, the Head of the Human Rights Committee in the Egyptian Parliament, Tarek Radwan, said that the decision to end the state of emergency is an indicator of the stable security situation.
He asserted that “perhaps some people have forgotten the situation of the country during the terrorist attacks in Sinai, Cairo or Minya, and the most important of which is the terrorist attack on Rawda mosque killing 325 people.”
He added that the decision is a regional and international message explaining that for more than seven Egypt has suffered the scourge of the war on terrorism and the scourge of human losses from the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the survival of the homeland.
Mourtada Mansour said on his Facebook page that ending an emergency state is “One of the greatest decisions issued by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi”, asserting that this decision is a very important step in the path of democracy.
A member of the Defence and National Security Committee in the Egyptian House of Representatives, Major General Yahya Kadwani, described the President’s decision as “historic”, explained that the emergency law is imposed to assist the security forces with exceptional measures in the face of specific threats to security and peace, but according to the current decision, there is no exceptional case that requires the existence of the law according to the assessments of the political leadership.
Journalist Ahmed Al-Khatib said that Egypt suffered from great chaos 10 years ago, but now the Egyptian state voluntarily announced ending the state of emergency.
Likewise, Amnesty welcomed the president’s decision to lift the state of emergency.
After ending the state of emergency Egypt will cancel all exceptional procedures before state security courts.
Ending emergency state will also abolish all provisions that were subject to ratification by the State Security Affairs Office, in addition to the abolition of exceptional trials, such as the Supreme State Security Courts.
The trials will return to normal, under the current Code of Criminal Procedure and Penalties, as well as cancel the monitoring of messages of any kind.
Egypt will also lift restrictions on freedom of residence and passage at certain times and places, in addition, to lifting restrictions on people’s freedom of gathering and movement.
Egypt has recently launched the country’s first integrated, long-term National Human Rights Strategy. During the launch ceremony, Al-Sisi hailed the role of civil society as the main and most important party in enhancing and protecting human rights at the political, economic, and social levels.
Moreover, he stressed that the state and civil society partnership is indispensable, highlighting the issuance of many laws, including the Exercise of Political Rights and the Regulation the Work of Civil Associations, to ensure the protection of personal freedoms.
He said the Egyptian state has achieved remarkable progress in establishing equality and non-discrimination values in Egyptian society.
The Egyptian President also called on civil society organizations to pay attention to training youth in the field of human rights.
During the ceremony, Al-Sisi asserted that every citizen has the right to enjoy a decent life, calling on political entities and civil society organizations to enrich the Egyptian political scene and support the freedom of expression.