International Politics

Mubarak receives a life sentence

Last winter there was a revolution in Egypt.  Time magazine called 2011 “the year of the protester.” Well, one leader, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, listened to his fate, life in prison, for his complacency in the death of 850 protestors.

Is this a great victory?  Mubarak is the first Arab ruler to be brought to trial by his own people.  That would seem to be a great victory.  But this trial, as we all know, was politically fueled.  Egypt has not fully recovered its government after the revolution.  Mubarak’s life sentence is based on the fact he didn’t stop the killing once it had started, but nobody has been found guilty for starting the killing.  According to Time,

“Mubarak and his two sons, Gamal and Alaa, who had tears in their eyes, were acquitted on charges of corruption. Mubarak’s former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly also received a life sentence for the deaths of demonstrators but the charges against other Interior Ministry officials were dismissed. (The Mubarak sons were not freed: they were kept in custody to face trial on other charges of corruption.) Judge Ahmed Refaat insisted the 10-month trial had been a fair one, and before issuing the verdict, rhapsodized about the brave uprising that ousted Mubarak. He called Mubarak’s rule “30 years of intense darkness…the blackness of a chilly winter night.”

This trial was also, seemingly, politically-timed.  Egypt is dealing with a runoff election, something it hasn’t had to deal with before, between the former prime minister under Mubarak, and the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Many are calling this trial a show, throwing the Egyptian people a political bone.  Mubarak is 84, so he’s probably not going to be in jail for very long.  The logic hole is so great in his conviction, it leaves one to wonder what really happened with the revolution. While it seems great that the “bad guy” is in jail, we don’t just throw bad people in jail in a democracy, we have a reason to throw them in jail.  This trial didn’t show enough reason,–but there are reasons to throw this man in jail and swallow the key.

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