BBC Arabic reports tonight that the Syrian authority has announced its decision to lift the state of emergency that has been in place in the country since 1963, amidst increased security at protests. However, in the announcement, spokeswoman Bouthaina Shaaban did not mention when the decision would be implemented. Thus, the Syrian people see this as yet another empty promise made by their government. In addition to restricting people’s basic rights, the emergency law allows authorities to arrest anyone seen as a threat to public security, detain people without a trial, to monitor phone calls, letters, and the media.
Al Iraqiya reports from Baghdad's Tahrir Square on the hundreds of protestors who took part in a peaceful rally today, calling for authorities to enhance charges against arrested terror suspects. They also called for the release of prisoners who haven’t received a trial. In the report, al Iraqiya states that the Iraqi protest seemed to be taking a different approach, calling for unity and denouncing a Baathist campaign that seeks to fuel sectarian division among Iraqis.
Al-Jazeera reports that at least 110 people were killed in explosions at an arms factory in Abyan province, Yemen. Medical sources say that the death toll is expected to rise as more bodies are recovered from the factory. A group of armed men seized control of the factory yesterday and looted its contents after the Yemeni army withdrew. The gunmen are now patrolling the streets of the city in armored military vehicles, armed with automatic weapons seized from the factory.
NBN reports on a new crime committed by Muammar Gaddafi and his regime: the rape of Iman al-Obeidi, “a lawyer who embodies the model Libyan woman, but who bothered the regime by being a free woman.” Iman was detained and raped by 15 of Gaddafi's mercenaries. The spokesman for Gaddafi's regime, Moussa Ibrahim, accused al-Obeidi of being drunk and mentally ill. The regime also called al-Obeidi's parents to ask that their daughter change her statement in exchange for financial compensation. Their request was denied. Meanwhile, activists on Facebook created a page in solidarity with Iman, entitled "We are all Iman al-Obeidi."
Al-Alalm also reports from Libya, where revolutionaries say they are engaged in battles with Gaddafi's battalions in the outskirts of Nawfaliyah, 120 kilometers east of Gaddafi’s tribal and military base in Sirte city. Gaddafi’s forces in Sirte are in a state of high alert, expecting attacks from revolutionaries in the near future. Meanwhile, coalition forces have launched a number of strikes on Gaddafi’s military bases in the city. Libyan state TV reports that Gaddafi’s regime has not killed any civilians, despite this ongoing violence.