February 21, 2011 |
Egyptian officials on Monday referred the former interior and tourism ministers to a criminal court, the state news agency reported, after protesters demanded officials be held accountable for squandering the nation's wealth.
Public prosecutor Abdel Hamid Mahmoud "issued a decision to transfer former Interior Minister Habib al-Adli and former Tourism Minister Zuhair Garana to an urgent criminal trial in the
Adli was charged with money laundering and profiteering, and Garana was accused of intentionally damaging public funds and allowing others to benefit financially, according to the report.
-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske
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Ian McEwan attacks 'great injustice' in
British novelist launches powerful attack as he accepts book award in
Ian McEwan speaks to
The British author Ian McEwan launched an eloquent attack on Israeli government policies in his speech accepting the
Before an audience that included Israel's president, Shimon Peres, culture minister, Limor Livnat, and
Addressing his remarks at the opening ceremony of
But it was also nihilism that fired a rocket at the home of the Gazan doctor, Izzeldin Abuelaish, killing three of his daughters and a niece during the Gazan war. "And it is nihilism to make a long-term prison camp of the
The author referred to "continued evictions and relentless purchases of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, the process of the right of return granted to Jews but not to Arabs, the so-called facts on the ground of hardening concrete over the future, over future generations of Palestinian and Israeli children who will inherit the conflict and find it even more difficult to resolve than it is today."
He called for an end to settlements and encroachments on Palestinian land.
Despite his stinging criticisms, to which his audience listened in silence, McEwan said he was "deeply, deeply touched to be awarded this honour that recognises writing which promotes the idea of the freedom of the individual in society".
He said that since his decision to come to
The idea of the freedom of the individual "sits a little awkwardly" with the situation in
He referred to the Shoah, or Holocaust, as "that industrialised cruelty which will remain always the ultimate measure of human depravity, of how far we can fall, and acknowledged "the precious tradition of the democracy of ideas in
He devoted much of his speech to the nature of the novel which, he said, "has become our best and most sensitive means of exploring the freedom of the individual, and such explorations often depict what happens when that freedom is denied".
He singled out three celebrated Israeli authors – Amos Oz, AB Yehoshua and David Grossman – as "writers who love their country, and made sacrifices for it and have been troubled by the directions it has taken".
They had opposed the settlements, he said, and had become the country's "conscience, memory and above all hope".
In recent years these three writers had felt "the times turning against their hopes", he said.
The question, said McEwan, was Lenin's
"The opposite of nihilism is creativity. The mood for change, the hunger for individual freedom that is spreading through the Middle East is an opportunity more than it is a threat."
The prize was presented by
The author said he was donating his $10,000 (£6,155) prize to Combatants for Peace, an organisation of former Israeli soldiers and former Palestinian fighters.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2011
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs