Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s ousted president, has been sentenced to life in prison for failing to stop the murders of protesters during the uprising that led to him being forced from power in 2011.
According to The Huffington Post, the mixed verdict of Mubarak and his sons being acquitted of corruption, but guilty of failing to stop the killing of protesters, provoked a new wave of violence on Egypt’s streets.
Mubarak, along with his former interior minister, Habib al Adli, were found guilty of accessory to murder and attempted murder of protesters, according to The Wall Street Journal, and Judge Ahmed Rifaat also declared six senior interior ministry officials not guilty, despite prosecutors claiming that they had also killed protesters.
Following the sentencing, The New York Daily News reports that Hosni Mubarak suffered “a health crisis,” which may have been a heart attack, while he was being transferred from a military hospital to a prison in Cairo. The Egyptian news did not elaborate on where the former president was being treated.
Mubarak, who was a former military commander, assumed power in 1981 after President Anwar El Sadat was assassinated. The verdict ends 16 months of upheaval in Egypt, which captivated the world with massive protests in Cairo’s Tahir Square, the economic heart of the movement, according to The Guardian.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Rawda Ahmed, who monitored the trial for the Arab Network for Human Rights, a Cairo-based advocacy group stated:
“There is no logic behind this ruling. The rulings should be based on law, but this is directed towards appeasing public anger. It is a political, not a legal decision.”
According to The Huffington Post, Judge Ahmed Rifaat stated after the convictions that:
“The people released a collective sigh of relief after a nightmare that did not, as is customary, last for a night, but for almost 30 black, black, black years – darkness that resembled a winter night. They were chanting ‘peaceful, peaceful’ with their mouths while their stomachs were empty and their strength was failing. … They screamed … ‘rescue us and pull us from the torture of poverty and humiliation.’”