Egypt’s state of emergency has been lifted after more than 30 years. The law, which gave security forces sweeping powers of search and arrest, ended at midnight.
It comes just weeks before a presidential election run-off between the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Mursi and former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq.
Some Egyptians are keen for the military to maintain order.
“The army should continue until the end of the transitional period because if they leave now it will be chaos. At the moment, the army is like a safety valve, keeping order and control,” said one man in Cairo.
Ending the emergency law was a key demand of those who led the uprising against ousted leader Hosni Mubarak. Military generals who took over had promised to do away with it.
The fate of those who were detained remains unclear.
The military is pledging to hand over power to Egypt’s new president later this month, but critics think the army will continue to influence state policy for years to come.