News / Middle East

Egypt Prosecutor Calls Mubarak's Rule Tyranny

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is wheeled into a court house in Cairo, January 2, 2011.
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is wheeled into a court house in Cairo, January 2, 2011.

Egyptian prosecutors are presenting their case against ousted president Hosni Mubarak, accusing him of tyranny during his near 30 year rule. A few Egyptians are seeing a parallel in the behavior of the nation's current rulers, especially in the suppression of dissent, as the anniversary of the uprising that ousted Mr. Mubarak nears.

The lead prosecutor on Tuesday called Mr. Mubarak a "tyrannical leader" who sought to hand power to his younger son, Gamal, spread corruption in the country and opened the door to his friends and relatives, ruining the country without any accountability.

Mustafa Suleiman's blistering attack on the 83-year-old former president was followed by harsh words for co-defendant Habib el-Adli.  The lawyer argued the former interior minister kept the government in power by practicing "oppression and violence against Egyptians" in particular during last year's anti-government demonstrations in which more than 800 people were killed.  Both men have denied the charges against them.

The demonstrators ultimately pushed both Mubarak and Adli from power, but the protests never really stopped.  The main difference now is that anger is focused on the interim military rulers, who have overseen crackdown after deadly crackdown on demonstrators in Cairo's Tahrir square.

But Egyptian newspaper editor and political analyst Rania el Malki says the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, or SCAF, has been careful to obscure any comparison between the Mubarak government's actions and its own.

"I think that the SCAF is continuing the tyranny, but I don't think that anyone watching the proceedings or reading about the proceedings will make the link between the two," said el Malki.  "I think over the past month SCAF has managed to control the media in such a way as to make people believe that whatever is happening these days - and the tyranny of SCAF - is actually justified to protect Egypt from foreign conspiracy."

The accusation of foreign influence in Egyptian affairs has found a receptive audience in some quarters, with raids of human rights groups justified as an attempt to root out such "interference."

And many Egyptians appear less concerned with the ongoing protests, and the crackdowns, than with moving forward with parliamentary elections, now in the third and final phase for the lower house.

But the comparisons could take on a new life in coming weeks.  Newly elected lawmakers are set to convene later this month and some foresee a showdown between them and the SCAF over what powers parliament will get and how quickly.

Just two days after that, on January 25, protesters are expected to mark the first anniversary of the uprising against Mubarak.   And there is also the prospect of the leader of the SCAF, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, returning to testify in Mubarak's trial.

Editor el Malki says she's doubtful the judge will yield to prosecutors' calls for Tantawi to face cross examination, and even if he does, he's likely to stick to his original statement on the previous government's crackdown on opponents.

"I don't think he would say anything different.  I think he would say exactly what he said, which is that Mubarak never gave an order to shoot protesters," she said.

Which is exactly what Tantawi is saying about his current government, despite the dozens of deaths in recent weeks. 

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid