Archive for May 15th, 2011

Tahrir Square fills again as Egypt holds Mubarak’s wife for crimes against state

Jack Shenker in Cairo
13 May 2011

Largest rally in recent weeks comes on day ousted president’s wife detained on suspicion of illegally acquiring wealth

Tens of thousands of Egyptians returned to Tahrir Square in Cairo on Friday in a show of national unity against sectarian tension, and to demonstrate their solidarity with the Palestinian people.

The largest rally to be held in the Egyptian capital in recent weeks took place as Suzanne Mubarak, wife of ousted president Hosni Mubarak, was detained by investigators for 15 days on suspicion of illegally acquiring wealth.

Cheers erupted in the square as news broke of Mrs Mubarak’s incarceration. The 70-year-old former first lady now joins her husband, two sons and more than 20 other ministers and business figures from the Mubarak regime on the list of those being investigated for crimes against the state.

Last week former interior minister Habib Al-Adly was sentenced to 12 years in prison for financial fraud. He also stands accused of having ordered the killing of peaceful protesters, a charge that can carry the death penalty.

In a sign of how vibrant and fragmented Egypt’s political landscape has become since the toppling of Mubarak in February, protesters came together on Friday to support a multitude of causes from local anti-corruption campaigns to unity with Arab uprisings elsewhere in the region.

Following a week of sectarian violence in Cairo in which at least 15 people were killed in clashes at a church in the poor neighbourhood of Imbaba, many demonstrators held aloft placards depicting the Christian cross and Muslim crescent, and chanted: “We are all Egyptians.” Read the rest of this entry »