News / Middle East

Egypt Grapples with Mubarak's Release From Jail

Egypt Grapples With Mubarak's Release From Jaili
X
August 22, 2013 6:36 PM
The release from prison on Thursday of Egypt's ex-president Hosni Mubarak has raised questions about whether Egypt is headed forward - or back to its past. VOA's Elizabeth Arrott has more from Cairo.
Elizabeth Arrott
As a helicopter ferried ex-president Hosni Mubarak from prison to house arrest on Thursday, the case has raised questions whether Egypt is headed forward - or back to its past.

Mubarak's release from jail of  has briefly overshadowed the continuing security crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, many of whose members are in detention, hiding or on the run.

Mubarak was taken to a military hospital in Cairo. The military-installed government has ordered him held under house arrest after a court said he could no longer legally be held behind bars.

He is still facing trial on murder and corruption charges linked to his 30 years in power, including charges that he failed to stop the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising that ended his rule.

Hosni Mubarak

  • February 11, 2011: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigns amid massive protests across Egypt
  • April 13, 2011: Authorities detain Mubarak
  • May 24, 2011: Officials say Mubarak will stand trial for corruption and deaths of anti-government protesters
  • August 3, 2011: Mubarak's trial starts, he pleads innocent
  • June 2, 2012: Mubarak sentenced to life in prison for complicity in killing of protesters in 2011 uprising
  • January, 2013: Court allows Mubarak to appeal and orders a retrial
  • August 19, 2013: Mubarak acquitted of corruption charge
  • August 21, 2013: Egyptian court orders Mubarak to be released. Faces retrial on charges of complicity in the killing of the protesters
  • August 22, 2013: Mubarak is released from prison and placed under house arrest
Supporters of the Islamist group, and many others who rebelled against Mubarak in 2011, are appalled by his release from prison.

Still, former Egyptian intelligence officer and security analyst General Sameh Seif al Yazal downplays its significance.

"He appealed to the highest court in Egypt, which is the legal court procedure and then they send it back to another court to look at it from the beginning, which is normal procedure in Egypt for anybody,” he said.

Egyptians wary

But what is considered normal here in Egypt can be tricky.

A poster of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi lies amid debris of a cleared protest camp of his supporters in Cairo Aug. 15, 2013.A poster of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi lies amid debris of a cleared protest camp of his supporters in Cairo Aug. 15, 2013.
x
A poster of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi lies amid debris of a cleared protest camp of his supporters in Cairo Aug. 15, 2013.
A poster of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi lies amid debris of a cleared protest camp of his supporters in Cairo Aug. 15, 2013.
A nation ruled by generals for nearly 60 years, and after a brief experiment with a freely elected president - the now-detained Mohamed Morsi - is now back under military-selected leaders.

"The fact is the president of Egypt, both military and Muslim Brotherhood, are the subject of judicial proceedings which could see them go to jail," said Adam Ereli, a former U.S. ambassador. "So the larger question is, what does this say about the development of Egypt’s future, Egypt’s political system?”

Egyptian activists say recent events return Egypt not just to the days before the 2011 uprising, but all the way back to the 1950's, to the military overthrow of the king and another crackdown on the Brotherhood.

General al Yazal dismisses the notion, saying the 2011 revolution carries on, but with the added popular will as expressed in the mass anti-Morsi, pro-military rallies of the past months.

"Yes, I think it is continuing," he said. "But the 30th of June Revolution as well is a new era, a new direction for the complete action of the 25th of January 2011 revolution."

He also refers to a “July 26th Revolution,” the day the military asked for a popular mandate to “restore security,” widely seen as a fight against the Brotherhood that officials now call a "war on terrorism."

Some who took to the streets now wonder what those mass protests were for.

In one widely repeated Twitter message, prominent Egyptian-American Dalia Mogahed asks: "did millions of Egyptians use the army to oust a president they didn't want, or did the army use millions of Egyptians to oust a president they didn't want?"
  • Egyptian medics escort former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak into an ambulance after after he was flown by a helicopter to the Maadi Military Hospital from Torah prison, Cairo, August 22, 2013.
  • Egyptian medics and police escort former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak into an ambulance after after he was flown by a helicopter to the Maadi Military Hospital from Torah prison, Cairo, August 22, 2013.
  • Supporters of deposed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak gesture as the helicopter carrying him leaves Tora prison, Cairo, August 22, 2013.
  • Supporters of Egypt's deposed president Hosni Mubarak wave a large national flag in front of Torah Prison in Cairo, August 22, 2013.
  • Egyptian police escorts stand by vehicles for general prisoner transport at Tora prison, Cairo, August 22, 2013.
  • A supporter of former president Hosni Mubarak holds his poster to celebrate as she waits for his release in front of the main gate of Tora prison, Cairo, August 22, 2013.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Stephen from: USA
August 22, 2013 10:49 PM
In light of what has developed since his ouster two-and-a-half years ago, man, if not most Egyptians still cherish the Mubarak days.

by: ali baba from: new york
August 22, 2013 4:41 PM
it is the right decision to release Mubarak for his age ,health and his service for Egypt for 60 years

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More