News / Africa

Egyptians Protest Mubarak Verdict

Egyptian anti-Mubarak protesters demonstrate in Cairo's Tahrir square on June 2, 2012.
Egyptian anti-Mubarak protesters demonstrate in Cairo's Tahrir square on June 2, 2012.
Elizabeth Arrott
CAIRO - Thousands of Egyptians have taken to the streets to protest the verdicts in the trial of former President Hosni Mubarak.  The ousted leader was given a life sentence for his role in  the killing of protesters during last year's uprising, but others in the case were acquitted.


Demonstrators turned out in Alexandria, Suez and other cities across the nation.  In Cairo, protesters flooded Tahrir Square, the heart of the revolution, demanding everything from a retrial to the death penalty for Mubarak.

  • Anti-Mubarak protesters chant in front of a Cairo courthouse, awaiting a verdict in the trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, June 2, 2012. (VOA/Y. Weeks)
  • A woman holds a sign with the image of a slain protester in front of a courthouse in Cairo awaiting a verdict in the trial of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, June 2, 2012. (VOA/Y. Weeks)
  • A couple honors one the protesters killed during the uprising, June 2, 2012. (VOA/Y. Weeks)
  • The crowd displays a banner with photos of those killed in the uprising in Cairo, June 2, 2012. (VOA/Y. Weeks)
  • Anti-Mubarak protesters embrace at the news of his guilty verdict in Cairo, June 2, 2012. (VOA/Y. Weeks)
  • A brother of the protester killed during the Tahrir uprising protests in Cairo, June 2, 2012. (VOA/Y. Weeks)
  • Jubilation as news of the guilty verdict spreads in Cairo, June 2, 2012. (VOA/Y. Weeks)
  • The crowd sets off fireworks as Mubarak is found guilty, June 2, 2012. (VOA/Y. Weeks)
  • Also near the courthouse, but separated by a sea of riot police, were Mubarak supporters, June 2, 2012. (VOA/Y. Weeks)
  • Riot police stood guard outside of a Cairo courthouse just before former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison, June 2, 2012. (VOA/Y. Weeks)
  • Young anti-Mubarak protesters chant outside of the Cairo courthouse where former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak awaited a verdict in his trial, June 2, 2012. (VOA/Y. Weeks)
  • Riot police stand guard as anti-Mubarak protesters chant in the background in Cairo, June 2, 2012. (VOA/Y. Weeks)

Weak evidence

The prosecutor had called for the harsher sentence, but the judge, citing weak evidence, used his discretion in handing down a life term.  He found that Mubarak failed to prevent the deaths during the first week of the uprising, but  was not directly responsible for them.  The same verdict and sentence was given to former interior minister Habib al Adli.  

Equally galling to the anti-Mubarak crowds was the acquittal of six top security officials, with some demonstrators arguing the case ended up like the revolution itself, with the leaders off the stage, but the next tier unscathed.

It was a rapid turn of mood from the jubilation outside the courthouse when the verdict was announced earlier in the day.

Family members of those killed embraced, wept, and fell to the ground in prayer.

Protester Mohammed held a picture of his brother Bilal, killed during the first days of the uprising. He said his brother went out to ask for “bread, freedom and equality” -  instead, he got a bullet.

From joy to anger

​But as the implications of the verdict were absorbed, and the chance it could be easily overturned became clearer, the joy turned to anger.

Some were also furious that Mubarak, his sons Gamal and Alaa, and others were acquitted of corruption charges.  They suspect the vast wealth allegedly accumulated by the Mubarak family and inner circle would remain in their hands.
 
But some opponents of the old government felt there would, ultimately, be justice for the victims of the uprising.
 
Abdel Basset el Fasheni, who works with the Al Azhar Institute, said the blood of the martyrs, whether Muslim or Christian, is the responsibility of all Egyptians.  "If we're not accountable in this life, we will be in front of God," he noted.

Sharp divide

El Fasheni's sentiments reflect the sharp divide many feel about the future of the country, as voters must choose who will succeed Mubarak.  The second round of voting for a new president pits Islamist Mohamed Morsi against Mubarak's last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq.

Shafiq has defended the former president, and his commander-in-chief during his long tenure in the Air Force.  But as the crowds grew Saturday and other political leaders condemned the trial, Shafiq was moved to promise that, if elected, he would not pardon his former boss.

Related video report by Jeff Seldin

Mubarak Verdict Unleashed Deep-Seeded Anger Among Egyptiansi
|| 0:00:00
X
Jeff Seldin
June 02, 2012 7:58 PM
Jubilation over Hosni Mubarak's life imprisonment has given way to frustration, with thousands of Egyptians taking to the streets in a show of angry solidarity against the old regime.

* Follow VOA's Elizabeth Arrott on Twitter @VOAArrott

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Could Be in Use by January

U.S. Homeland Security says all passengers arriving in US from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone must fly into one of five airports equipped with enhanced screening for Ebola More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Harry Kuheim from: Washington State
June 02, 2012 10:13 PM
There is no end to the Blood Feuds and Religious Wars in any Islamic Country

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid