Thursday, January 26, 2012

Egypt Live Blog. One year later protests continue

Al Jazeera staff and correspondents update you on important developments in Egypt as people commemorate the first anniversary of the revolution that forced Hosni Mubarak from power.

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Egypt's authorities have imposed a travel ban on four members of a US-funded pro-democracy organisation in a row over its activities, a member of an NGO with knowledge of the case told Reuters on Thursday, in a step expected to escalate tensions with the United States.

The four members of the International Republican Institute (IRI) include three US citizens. One is Sam LaHood, the IRI's
Egypt director who is the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

"It is a de facto detention," the member of a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in Cairo told Reuters, requesting anonymity due to the sensitivity of the case.

The judges investigating the case have charged the four with managing an unregistered NGO and being paid employees of an unregistered organisation, charges that could carry up to five years in jail, he said. The IRI had no immediate comment.

The group is in Egypt and has been forbidden to travel outside the country.

US President Barack Obama plans to accelerate the pace of American aid to Egypt, a top State Department official said on Wednesday, as the most populous Arab nation reaches a critical stage in its uncertain transition away from autocratic rule. 

Undersecretary of State Robert Hormats, part of a US delegation that held unprecedented talks last week with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, said Washington wanted to provide "more immediate benefits" to Egyptians, who earlier this month conducted their first democratic elections in decades. 

"During this period, we want to be as supportive as we can. This is an historic moment. Egypt's a country of enormous importance," Hormats said.  [Reuters]

Tens of thousands of people are still arriving in Cairo's Tahrir square, our correspondent Mike Hanna reports. The square is already packed with protesters and people who celebrate to one-year anniversary of the revolution.

Tags Tahrir

Egypt is releasing around 3,000 prisoners on the orders of the country's military ruler to mark the one year anniversary of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, officials have said.

Security officials told AFP news agency on Wednesday that 1,959 prisoners were being released after they were pardoned by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi on Saturday.

"Another 1,014 charged with criminal acts are also in the process of being released early for good behaviour," one official said.

In the latest development, about 3,000 people, who were pardoned by the military rulers coinciding with the anniversary, have now walked out of Tora prison located on the outskirts of Cairo.

In an apparent attempt to appease reformist demands, the military council has in recent days pardoned people convicted in military courts since Mubarak was toppled.

Hosni Mubarak's ouster was only the beginning of a year of protest and unrest in Cairo and elsewhere in Egypt. 

This interactive timeline by Al Jazeera's Gregg Carlstrom highlights the major protests, in Cairo and elsewhere, which began one year ago and have continued to this day. It will play automatically, or you can hover over the markers on the timeline to view a specific protest.


Did Egypt's protesters die in vain?

Relatives of those killed during the uprising say they are still awaiting justice, a year after the violence erupted, Al Jazeera's Malika Bilal reports.

Click here to read more.

Al Jazeera's Adam Makary reports from Suez, which saw the revolution's first death and where the first police station was torched last year:


Cairo's Tahrir Square looks to be filled with people as Egypt marks first anniversary of revolution that toppled Mubarak.

For a look back at the 18-day uprising that led to the fall of Mubarak and a look forward at what could be to come in Egypt, visit our spotlight page, where you'll find a scorecard of the revolution so far, our viewer's thoughts on whether the uprising has lived up to its expectations, a look into how relatives of those killed are still seeking justice and more. 

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