U.S. urges Egypt to lift state of emergency

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The United States urged Egypt’s interim authorities on Thursday to lift a nationwide state of emergency in force since mid-August, which Cairo said it is extending for two more months.

“We remain opposed, as we have from the beginning, to the state of emergency. And we urge the interim government to end it immediately,” State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters.

Harf called on Cairo “to create an atmosphere where Egyptians on all sides can peacefully exercise their right to freedom of assembly and expression.

“The interim government and military must ensure due process and that any citizens arrested by police or military are referred only to civilian courts” she said, in statements carried by AFP.

Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour on Thursday extended the state of emergency by two more months.

Deadly unrest swept Egypt on August following the ouster of Islamist President Mohammad Mursi in July.

Nationwide clashes between security forces and Mursi supporters raged when authorities cleared pro- Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins in Cairo during August.

The country ever since has been under a strict military curfew from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. that was extended earlier this month to 11pm.

(With AFP)

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