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Egypt protests as ex-Pres Mubarak cleared of murder charges

Egypt protests as ex-Pres Mubarak cleared of murder charges

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi calls for calm

It looks like Ferguson isn’t the only place experiencing violent protests in the wake of a controversial legal decision.

In Cairo, crowds erupted when Egypt’s former President Hosni Mubarak was cleared of murder charges.

Egyptian police have used tear gas to disperse protesters angry that charges against ex-President Hosni Mubarak over killings during the uprising three years ago have been dropped.

About 2,000 people massed in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the birthplace of the 2011 revolution. At least one person was reported killed in the clashes.

Mubarak was originally sentenced to life in jail then cleared in a retrial.

In a TV interview after the ruling, Mubarak said he did “nothing wrong”.

The former president, 86, is serving a separate three-year sentence for embezzlement of public funds.

A video report shows the scale of the demonstrations, and indicates Mubarak may be released early, after serving two-thirds of his corruption sentence.

Egypt’s current leader is trying to calm the storm.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi stressed on Sunday that “the new Egypt, born after the January 25 and the June 30 revolutions … cannot move backwards,” in a statement issued in reaction to the acquittal of former President Hosni Mubarak.

…Sisi stressed the independence of Egypt’s judiciary and reminded that commenting on court rulings is not permissible. He noted the importance of applying the separation of powers, expressing his “full confidence” in the “fairness, neutrality, professionalism and integrity of Egypt’s judges.”

The president also mandated Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb to take all the necessary measures to revise the situation of the families of those killed and injured during the “revolution” and the compensation they are entitled. Sisi said such victims have “sacrificed their lives to elevate the nation.”

Sisi mandated as well the Legislative Reform Committee to study possible amendments of the criminal procedures law in a manner which meets the recommendations of the court which ruled in Mubarak’s case.

And while the court’s decision may make the smart set in Washington unhappy, it doesn’t seem to threaten the recently enhanced relationship between our two countries.

While the decision could be met with a rebuke from Washington, it is unlikely to upend a relationship that has strengthened during the U.S.-led campaign against Islamic State. Cairo’s strong public support for the campaign demonstrates how far Egypt has come in restoring its place as a premier U.S. partner in the Arab world since last year’s authoritarian crackdown in Egypt and military takeover.

Although the United States was a proponent of the Arab Spring, Washington in June renewed ties with Cairo and its current government, led by another strongman, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

As in Ferguson, social media provides some of the best commentary.

Of course, we could borrow that second tweet for ourselves.

No word yet on whether the Egyptians have blocked freeways or bullied small children. But if Sisi and his administration can calm the flames of unrest instead of stoke the fires of tension, perhaps he can come back to New York again soon and give our President some pointers.


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Our wonderful anarchist-in-chief, whose foreign policy has so far consisted in blowing up stability to see what happens afterwards, has failed to comprehend that it doesn’t matter what he thinks he knows. Just because he has dreams of, by, and for his presumed father living in his cranium does not mean those dreams aren’t actually dead and obsolete.

Egypt, with all its problems and faults, obviously does not want to be subjugated to a moldy 7th century vision of fake paradise for the few. The country’s people looked toward the west (Libya) and said no thanks to what they saw.

    platypus in reply to platypus. | December 1, 2014 at 9:51 am

    I should add that they looked toward the northeast and saw a country with whom they had signed a treaty, which is being honored by both sides and providing clear benefits to Egypt.

Egypt is like Libya. Mubarak may yet be assassinated. I wonder what video Obama is watching today.