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Ghonim Released; HRW Estimates 300 Killed

Protesters remained encamped in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, epicenter of the nationwide uprising against President Hosni Mubarak. Al-Jazeera noted that banks in Cairo have reopened, while schools and the Egyptian stock exchange, which has not seen trading since January 27, are still closed.

After disappearing on January 27, Google regional executive and activist Wael Ghonim, who is believed to be responsible for the “We Are all Khaled Said” Facebook page that helped spark the ongoing protest movement, was released from government custody. Ghonim proceeded to give an emotional interview on Egyptian television where he discussed some of the motivations for the revolution, how he saw his role in it, and his time in prison.

The government announced a 15% raise in salaries for government employees in an attempt to defuse anger surrounding government mistreatment of the Egyptian working class. The move, which would affect some 6 million public employees, did little to quell the protesters’ anti-government fury and had no visible effect on their intent to occupy Tahrir Square continuously until Mubarak resigns. Near the end of the day in Egypt, Human Rights Watch reported that around 300 people had been killed since protests started on January 25.