Amnesty International has today urged Egypt's authorities to end 30 years of repressive emergency rule and allow ordinary Egyptians to fully participate in shaping the country's future.
The organization called for a curb on the sweeping powers of security forces, the release of prisoners of conscience, and for safeguards against torture to be introduced in a new human rights action plan addressed to the country's authorities.
"Egyptians have suffered under a state of emergency for three decades; the decisions made in this momentous period will be critical for Egypt and the region," said Claudio Cordone, Senior Director at Amnesty International.
"Those now in power should view the activism on the streets of Cairo and other cities not as a threat, but as an opportunity to consign the systematic abuses of the past to history. Political transition must involve the people and foster respect for human rights."
The call came as unrest and political uncertainty continued to grip Egypt, with protesters gathered in Cairo's Tahrir square demanding human rights and calling for political reform.