Big things going on the last few days.
Egypt – major clashes between protesters and police again – hundreds or even thousands injured. Some have blamed former Mubarak insiders for provoking the incidents, but the anger has been hovering under the surface for weeks. The families of the 800+ people killed by the police during the Tahrir square protests have seen no justice - neither the police, the state secret police, nor the regime thugs and baltagi have been made answerable for their murderous brutality. The patience of a people who know their own power is running out.
On a related note, the prosecution of the police responsible for the 2010 death of Kahled Said (one of the triggers of the Arab spring in Egypt), has been delayed until the end of this summer. In this case, however, the delay may be a good thing. The police under investigation were being charged with excessive force and illegal arrest, but the family of Kahled Said was able to introduce a second, independent, autopsy report as evidence, which may allow the charge of homicide to be added to the charges against the poilice – a much more serious charge that carries much stronger sentencing guidelines.
Lebanon – The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) has finally released its first indictments in their investigation of the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Arrest warrants against four Lebanese hezbollah members. Were issued and the Lebanese government has 30 days to serve the warrants. The prime minister has been a bit cagey about how far this will go, and many Hezbollah supporters are dismissing the whole thing as a us/Zionist plot to destabilize Lebanon. The individuals named are regarded as most directly connected to the actual carrying out of the act, while two more sets of indictments will be coming out later this year. It seems that the STL is going to work its way up the chain of authority, so the plotters and backers of the assassination won’t be targeted until the fall.
For extensive coverage and background on this check out the coverage here: http://qifanabki.com/2011/06/30/stl-indicts-four-suspects-in-hariri-murder/
Syria – Protests have hit Aleppo. This is a big deal – Aleppo is the industrial center of Syria and Assad's government cannot afford to turn the city’s residents against them.
Bahrain – Saudi Arabia started pulling troops out of Bahraintwo days ago and the Bahraini King gave a nice speech about justice yesterday and then turned his thugs loose on the protesters. Protesters were agressively dispersed by riot police using teargas and stun grenades indiscriminately. Check out https://twitter.com/#!/angryarabiya for updates.
In other news, police in Saudi Arabia arrested five woman drivers yesterday.
It figures. In Egypt and Bahrain protesters face clubs, rubber bullets, and tear gas. In Libya and Syria protesters face tanks and life ammunition. In Saudi Arabia you protest by taking your BMW for a spin around the block. Ah well. Baby steps.