Former President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak was awarded life imprisonment on Saturday for his involvement in killing around 800 peaceful protestors during the uprising against his rule last year. A former interior minister of the autocrat was also awarded the same punishment. However, the verdict does not sit well with people of Egypt who sacrificed their lives and property to oust the dictator. People are demanding capital punishment for Mubarak as committed heinous crime against humanity during his regime. Civil society of the country is of the opinion that the court awarded lenient punishment to the dictator.
Hosni Mubarak ruled the country for around three decades. Powerful military of the country always stood behind the autocrat but top brass of the army turned its back to the autocrat when tens of thousands of people took to the streets against Mubarak’s rule in February last year. Having inspired by a successful revolution in Tunisia where long-serving dictator Ben Ali was ousted by people through protest demonstrations against his repressive rule.
The military of Egypt sided with the protestors and within a month Mubarak was not only forced to step down from his position but was also arrested for committing crime against the humanity. However, six police commanders who served under the dictator and were instrumental behind killing of civilians were acquitted by the court for lack of evidence. Two sons of the autocrat Gamal and Alaa were also acquitted on the corruption charges. Corruption charges were also part of the charge sheet presented against Mubarak but he was also acquitted for the charges.
Egypt’s general prosecutor has announced to challenge the verdict through an appeal in the court against acquittals of the police commanders. He believes the police chiefs were actual brain behind all the atrocities committed against peaceful protestors; therefore they should also be awarded strict punishment for their crime. On the other hand, Egyptian officials claim that the top prosecutor will file an appeal against the verdict and plead for review to the punishment awarded to Mubarak and his former interior minister. The top prosecutor believes that he will be able to get relief for Mubarak in the review petition.
A number of protestors who have gathered in Tahrir Square suspect the powerful military of the country behind lighter punishment to the dictator and acquittals of his several aides. It has been more than a year to the revolution in Egypt and the powerful military is still holding reins of the country. People believe that much of the security apparatus is still busy protecting Mubarak and his family from the court. Fears are also being expressed that Mubarak along with his family may be sent into exile to any European or Arab country in order to save his skin. Let’s see how things turn out in the coming days and weeks.