News / Africa

Egyptians Protest After Mubarak Sentencing

Egyptians gather in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, June 2, 2012.
Egyptians gather in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, June 2, 2012.
VOA News
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's life prison sentence for complicity in the killings of anti-government protesters has failed to appease some Egyptians who have taken to the streets in protest.

Thousands of demonstrators gathered in cities including Cairo and Alexandria on Saturday after Mubarak and former interior minister Habib al-Adly were convicted for their roles in the 2011 killings of hundreds of protesters, but six ex-police commanders were acquitted.

The court also acquitted Mubarak and his sons, Gamal and Alaa, of corruption charges.

Prosecutors had called for the death penalty for Mubarak, the only leader toppled in the Arab Spring uprisings to be tried in his own country.

Jubilant Mubarak opponents initially embraced and wept outside of the Cairo courthouse as the verdicts were announced, but the mood changed when it became clear that the former president and other former officials had not been convicted on all charges.

Video: Reaction in Tahrir Square after sentence announced

Egyptians React to Mubarak's Verdict of Life in Prisoni
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June 02, 2012 3:16 PM
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, 84, was sentenced to life in prison Saturday for his role in the killings of protesters during the uprising that forced him from office, but he was acquitted of corruption charges. Crowds have begun gathering in Cairo, with most people apparently angry at what they say was leniency for the longtime national ruler.


VOA correspondent Elizabeth Arrott says some Mubarak opponents have gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the site of mass protests in the lead-up to the former president's resignation last year.


"They are waving the Egyptian flag. They are shouting for a cleansing of the judiciary. They are calling for new trials. And, it is quite a broad spectrum of people who have gone down there," Arrott noted.

Slideshow

  • 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)

Meanwhile, Egyptian state media say Mubarak suffered an unspecified "health crisis" after the verdict.  He received treatment at a prison hospital. The 84-year-old former president had consistently arrived in court on a stretcher.

Mubarak's abrupt resignation in February 2011 ended his almost 30-year rule in Egypt. His lawyers are expected to appeal his sentence.

U.S. Secretary of States Hillary Clinton declined to comment on Mubarak's conviction on Saturday. However, speaking in Norway, she expressed hope that Egypt's election process would produce a result that is "accepted as reflecting the will of the Egyptian people."

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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Comments
     
by: Bud from: Saint Petersburg, FL
June 03, 2012 7:10 AM
These trials reinforce a strange sense of empowerment for the Egyptian people. Mubarak is 84 years-old and is dying anyway. His isolation has done very little towards liberating the Egyptians from their oppressors. Blood-lust is blinding.


by: James Padgett from: Los Angeles, California
June 02, 2012 2:51 PM
Obama showed total disdain and disloyalty to our best longtime ally in the Midde East - when he turned his back on Mubarak, demaning that 1) he not use any kind of force to stop the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood instigated protects against his regime and demanded that he step down. Obama did much to show the world that America is not a trustworthy partner/ally and that he is totally devoid of wisdom in the job he does as prez. Congrats, Fraudbama - now we have an extremist Muslim Brotherhood govt coming to Egypt - and Libya.

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