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TUNIS | A Tunisian court has given jail sentences to seven men found guilty of plotting to revive a banned Islamist opposition movement, their lawyer said Wednesday.

Tunisian authorities outlawed the Ennahda, or Renaissance, movement in the early 1990s after accusing it of a violent plot to overthrow secular rule. The movement says it is nonviolent and the victim of government repression.

Two defendants, Ali Ferhat and Ali Lehrabi, received six-month jail sentences for reviving a banned organization, and two students were given two-month prison terms. Three others were convicted in absentia and given prison terms of 15 to 21 months.


ElBaradei warns of unrest, urges boycott

CAIRO | Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei warned Wednesday that activists could resort to violence unless political reforms are made, and he called for a boycott of next year’s presidential election.

Mr. ElBaradei, the former head of the U.N. atomic watchdog, made the comments in a video posted on his profile of the social-networking website Facebook as he returned to Egypt for the first time since September.


U.S. Embassy: Leader shielded aide

FREETOWN | A U.S. Embassy cable released by WikiLeaks says Sierra Leone’s president shielded a Cabinet minister from arrest during a drug bust two years ago.

Transportation and Aviation Minister Ibrahim Kemoh Sesay was relieved of his duties during an investigation into a plane that was abandoned with 1,540 pounds of cocaine onboard.

The cable from the U.S. Embassy in Freetown said President Ernest Bai Koroma “directly ordered [Sierra Leone police] senior officers to refrain from arresting Kemoh Sesay.”

The cable also was published Monday on the website of the British newspaper the Guardian.

Mr. Koroma’s director of communications said the U.S. Embassy cable is a “subjective assessment which bears no truth to the reality.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports