Guilty, Hosni Mubarak escapes death penalty

Anissa Ford's picture

When Hosni Mubarak’s trial on his role in the mass murder of anti-government Egyptian protesters began last August, Mubarak caught ill.

Early in the trial, Mubarak refused to walk into the courtroom: he entered on a stretcher. Some felt Mubarak used the stretcher to elicit sympathy and immunity from the death penalty. Like Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Mubarak faced death by hanging for calling guards to murder anti-government protesters.

And while Mubarak’s guilty verdict seemed inevitable, the sentencing of the 84-year-old politician post-trial remained daunting. Mubarak ruled Egypt for 30 years. The Arab Spring demand for democracy highlighted a contemporary and societal lacking among Middle East and North African Arab leaders who haven’t adjusted, or simply turned a blind eye to the digi-tech revolution that continues to shape the free world.

Voice of America reported today that Hosni Mubarak won’t face the death penalty. Instead, Egypt’s ousted leader is sentenced to life in prison. On January 25, 2011, thousands of anti-Egyptian government demonstrators took the streets to protest life under Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak responded with brute military force and murder. In all, thousands were injured and killed. Mubarak’s trial began in August 2011.

After the verdict, Egyptian crowds embraced the decision with cheers outside of the courtroom. The verdict aired live on television outside of the courtroom and was broadcast throughout Egypt.

Mubarak’s lawyers are expected to appeal.

Egypt holds presidential elections in two weeks. The nation has spent a year debating and strategizing a government that doesn’t rest its power in military authority. In the presidential elections, Egypt will vote between two candidates: Mubarak’s ally, Ahmed Shafiq and Islamist candidate Mohamed Morsi.

Shafiiq is a former member of the Egyptian military. Shafiq was appointed minister of civil aviation in 2002, but was assigned prime minister during the uprisings. Shafiq has made it the final leg of the race for Egypt’s presidential post.

Egypt’s June elections will determine the extent of the change Egyptians wish to see in their country. Shafiq, like Hosni Mubarak, was a military man—a member of the Air Force and holds a master’s in “military sciences.”

Mohamed Morsi is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood who comes from a “traditional Brotherhood stronghold” in the Nile Delta region is an engineer. Morsi earned his doctorate at the University of Southern California and taught at California State University, Northridge. It’s reported that Morsi appeals to the less affluent Egyptian voter.

Hosni Mubarak resigned shortly after the uprisings in Feb. 2011. He became Egypt's president on October 6, 1981 after Anwar Sadat was assassinated.

Mubarak's photo appears courtesy Wikipedia Commons

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