Top stories from the Development and Aid Workers News Service–DAWNS Digest.
Day 3 of Big Protests and Violent Clashes in Tahrir Square
Thousands of Egyptians are flocking to Tahrir Square for the third day in a row to protest the abuses of Egypt’s military led government. Violent clashes ensued over the weekend, leaving at least 20 people dead and 1,700 injured. By all accounts it was a very dramatic scene. “Many compared the breadth and intensity of the new fight for the square — the iconic heart of the Egyptian revolt and the Arab Spring — to the early days of the uprising against former President Hosni Mubarak, only this time the target of the protesters’ ire was the ruling military council and its leader, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi. The military-led government’s attempts to beat back or squash the protests appeared to only redouble their strength. After using tear gas, rubber bullets and birdshot to beat back a day of continuous attacks on the headquarters of the Interior Ministry, hundreds of soldiers and security police in riot gear stormed the square from several directions at once about 5 p.m., raining down rocks and tear gas as they drove thousands of demonstrators out before them. But after less than half an hour they had retreated, having succeeded only in burning down a few tents in the middle of the square. And after another half an hour, the crowd of protesters had more than doubled, packing the square as ever more demonstrators marched in from all directions, chanting for the end of military rule.” (NYT http://nyti.ms/taaDyq)
Nabbed. What’s Next for Seif Al Islam and Abdullah Senussi?
The last two Libyan war criminal fugitives-at-large were nabbed this weekend. On Saturday, Seif al Islam, Gaddafi’s son, was captured by a Libyan tribal militia in a remote part of the country. On Sunday, Libya’s former spy chief, Abdullah al Senussi, was arrested. Both men are wanted by the International Criminal Court. The NTC, though, is very reluctant to hand over the accused: “Ignoring world pressure, Libya’s interim rulers insisted Seif al-Islam, Gaddafi’s one-time heir apparent, would be tried inside Libya rather than by the International Criminal Court at The Hague. World powers, fearful that Seif would not be given a fair trail after his father was felled by a bullet to the head after being captured a month ago, are urging Libya to work with the ICC. The court wants to try the 39-year-old for crimes against humanity allegedly committed by Gaddafi’s forces in crushing anti-regime protests in February. But the NTC insists Seif will face trial at home. ‘The decision is that he will be tried by Libyan courts. It is a question of national sovereignty,’ NTC vice-chairman and official spokesman Abdel Hafiz Ghoga told reporters.” (Sydney Morning Herald. http://bit.ly/s5yFZQ)