Hosni Mubarak, the political strongman, who ruled Egypt as President for over three decades, is reported to be “clinically dead” and “on life support”, according to news from Egyptian officials and the state run media.
Just 15 days ago, Mubarak was convicted of responsibility in the deaths of hundreds of demonstrators who were killed by the Egyptian military and security forces while taking part in the Arab Spring revolution that ended his iron fisted rule. Throughout the trial, Mubarak was seriously ill and he attended the court proceedings on a portable hospital bed, complete with intravenous tubes and medical staff at his side.
Egyptians were outraged that Mubarak was given a life sentence instead of the death penalty. After the sentence was pronounced, protests erupted across Egypt and many in the angry crowds were fearful that the verdict would lay the groundwork for an appeal. Adding to those fears were comments by the judge in the case, who said that “prosecutors had shown no evidence linking Mr. Mubarak to the killings.”
The 84 year old Mubarak suffered a stroke in prison on Tuesday, June 19, 2012 and he was immediately transferred to a military hospital. Mubarak went into cardiac arrest upon arriving at the hospital. After attempts to revive him failed, he was pronounced clinically dead and placed on life support, according news reports.
As word of Mubarak’s condition reached the Egyptian street, crowds began to gather in Tahrir Square; the site of the original demonstrations that toppled Mubarak. Reports from Cairo say that the crowds are tense and the mood is potentially explosive. Emotions were already running at a fever pitch after the high court ruled that the elections for Egypt’s Lower House Of Parliament, also known as the People’s Assembly, were illegal. The contentious Presidential election on June 16 and 17, 2012 did nothing to lessen worries about the stability of the country. These events and the news of Mubarak’s impending death have the Egyptian military on high alert, in anticipation of any return to the chaos that proceeded Mubarak’s fall from power.