Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s top security official, who led a much-feared security apparatus blamed for widespread rights abuses, has been convicted of corruption and money laundering, and sentenced to 12 years in prison.
The conviction of former Egyptian interior minister Habib el-Adly marks the start of a broad reckoning with the legacy of Mubarak’s three-decade authoritarian rule, which was brought to an end on Feb. 11 by a popular uprising. About dozen Mubarak-era Cabinet ministers and regime-linked businessmen are in detention.
The country’s central bank says Egypt’s net international reserves fell US$2 billion last month, the fourth consecutive month of declines, as the nation’s economy reels from the aftereffects of the mass uprisings. Net international reserves fell to US$28 billion last month from US$30.1 billion the previous month.
Thousands of protesters, meanwhile, hit the streets to demand that Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh step down, marching in south and central Yemen.
In the central city of Bayda, activists say supporters of Saleh burned tents in a protest camp in the city’s square as protesters prayed.
In the town of Damt, in the southern province of al-Daleh, supporters of Saleh, waving automatic rifles and sticks, storm a record store, beating its owner for playing anti-Saleh songs. They also attack an ice cream vendor who had wrapped his head in a national flag with the word “go” scribbled over it.
Security and tribal officials, meanwhile, say a suspected US drone aircraft fired a missile at a car in southern Yemen, killing two brothers believed to be al-Qaeda militants.
Bahrain’s security court convicted a Shiite opposition activist and sentenced him to five years in prison for the attempted murder of a policeman during anti-government protests in the Gulf kingdom.
Abdulla Mohammed Habib can appeal his sentence.
Another activist was acquitted of the same charge in the court, which was set up after emergency rule was imposed in March.
Bahrain’s king declared martial law on March 15 to crush weeks of demonstrations by the nation’s Shiite majority, which has campaigned for greater freedoms and an elected government in the Sunni-ruled nation.
Police fired tear gas at participants of an anti-government demonstration in the heart of Tunis.
Security forces succeed in breaking up the demonstration of several hundred people in about an hour. A photographer covering the protest, Hassene Dridi, is beaten up and briefly detained by police officers.
The protesters were complaining that Tunisia’s new caretaker government has not followed through with the people’s revolutionary aspirations.