BBC Arabic features an in-depth report from the central Syrian city of Hama, which had been the site last Friday of the largest demonstrations in the past four months of unrest. Witnesses said about 30 buses full of armed police officers and soldiers entered the city on Monday morning. The officers were reportedly carrying lists with names of people they were to arrest. As they began to raid houses, a group of young people took to the streets, set up roadblocks and threw stones at security forces. They responded by firing indiscriminately and using tear gas. At least 16 people were wounded in the clashes.
Here, a man who says he is Sergeant Imad al-Setouf (he shows his official ID) issued a video statement explaining why he defected from Syrian military intelligence. Bashar al-Assads thugs took part in killing, stealing, raping and torturing, al-Setouf says. I was a witness from the beginning of the protests to what the security apparatus was doing, he says.
A Syrian girl in the northwest province of Idlib talks about how her father was shot dead by the army in the village of Jabal Zawiya. When asked by the man filming her what her message is to the government, she replies, while surrounded by other children, the people want the regime to fall and then bursts into tears.
Egypts Attorney General Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud is challenging the decision of a criminal court in Suez to release seven police officers, including some of high rank, on bail after being charged with killing 17 protesters. The officers are accused of firing live rounds into crowds of protesters in Suez. Mahmoud is petitioning the court to keep the officers in custody. Following the courts ruling, angry family members of the victims attempted to storm the courtroom and clashed with guards. The trial will resume on Septemer 14th.
Reuters Arabic reports on the 15-year sentence for deposed Tunisian President Zine el-Abedine Ben Ali for possessing weapons and drugs with intent to sell the drugs. Last month, a court trying Ben Ali and his wife, Leila Trabulsi, sentenced both of them to 35 years in jail for plundering public funds.
SAUDIA ARABIA STATUS QUO
The Saudi government approved a measure giving a raise to health professionals serving in the military, as well as a higher housing allowance. It is the latest of several decrees issued by King Abdullah to boost salaries and find jobs to help preserve stability in the country.