Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of Egypt's military ruling council, announced the army will lift the state's emergency law, but reserved the right to use it in instances of "thuggery," thereby inspiring anything but confidence among critics of military rule.
As Egyptians get increasingly restless with the military's continued power since the removal of President Hosni Mubarak, critics have zeroed-in on the military's use of the emergency law to justify human rights abuses. The New York Times's David Kirkpatrick says Tuesday's partial lifting is "an apparent attempt to mollify those who are discontent with the heavy-handed police tactics of the military-led government," but it doesn't appear like a very successful attempt, with most people pointing out that Mubarak did a similar "partial" lifting before his ouster, noting just how vague a description "acts of thuggery" can be. Egyptian blogger and activist Ramy Raoof, for instance, tweeted that the "promise to apply emergency law only to thuggery [is] no different than Mubarak's promise to apply it only to drugs & terror. Just lift it."