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Monday, March 30, 2020

Hosni Mubarak dead: How Egypt under him saw the Arab Spring

Hosni Mubarak’s rule over Egypt was marked by the imposition of emergency that was renewed multiple times, rigged elections, the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty that isolated Egypt, and bringing in economic reforms in the 2000s.

By: Explained Desk | New Delhi | Updated: February 27, 2020 8:42:23 am
Hosni Mubarak, Hosni Mubarak dead, egypt president Hosni Mubarak, Arab Spring, Mohammad Morsi, indian express, express explained Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down in 2011 after ruling Egypt for 30 years. (AP Photo)

Egypt’s former President Hosni Mubarak, who was forced to step down in 2011 after ruling the country for 30 years, died on Tuesday (February 25) at the age of 91 in a military hospital.

Mubarak was born on May 4, 1928, in Kafr-el-Meselha in Egypt. In 1981, he was elected President, succeeding Anwar Sadat, who was assassinated by a group of army officers in the same year due to the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. Subsequently, Mubarak was re-elected in 1987, 1993 and 1999. He ruled with an iron fist — so much so that he was once dubbed “The Pharaoh”.

Mubarak’s rule over Egypt was marked by the imposition of emergency that was renewed multiple times, rigged elections, the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty that isolated Egypt, and bringing in economic reforms in the 2000s.

Mubarak’s elected successor, Mohammad Morsi, was also ousted by the military in 2013, following mass anti-government protests.

Hosni Mubarak, the Arab Spring and the charges against him

On February 11, 2011, Mubarak resigned as the President of Egypt following an 18-day peaceful uprising in the country. This was the first time in modern Middle East that an Arab ruler had been overthrown by a movement representing people from diverse social and economic backgrounds.

The uprising followed growing discontent among urban masses about the socio-economic conditions and a rigged election. Further, Tunisia’s “Jasmine Revolution”, a popular uprising that toppled the ruling government in late 2010, inspired other pro-democracy revolutions in the region, which are called the Arab Spring.

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After his ouster, a series of charges were brought forward against Mubarak, including ordering the murder of peaceful protestors (over 240 were killed during the 2011 uprising and roughly 1,600 injured all over Egypt as per court records), misappropriating public funds, corruption and securing illicit gains and unlawfully accepting gifts when in office.

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He was sentenced to three years in prison for the misappropriation of public funds.

In June 2012, Mubarak, his former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly, and six others were sentenced to life in prison for conspiring to kill, but these charges were dropped in 2014. By 2017, he was cleared of all charges against him.

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