Mubarak’s release – an end to all hope?

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.

I never once imagined seeing former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak acquitted of all charges against him. The man who humiliated Egypt and Egyptians for more than 30 years left prison on Thursday, writes Abdelbari Atwan.

The thousands of people who sacrificed their lives, protesting against his injustice and corruption, have died in vain; their sacrifices gone to waste. This, I feel, is the biggest defeat for the people of Egypt and a tragic end to their revolution.

The army’s coup has, sadly, taken Egypt back at least four decades, if not more.

This is the mandate that General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi wanted from the majority of Egyptian people; a mandate to abort the revolution and take revenge on the first democratically elected President (Morsi) and his regime.

I admit that, at the time, I did not agree with elected Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi when he questioned the Egyptian judiciary’s integrity, credibility and independence. Nor did I agree with some of his supporters who protested outside the Constitutional Court’s headquarters. Some judges had taken a stand against Mubarak’s violations.

But now, after seeing Mubarak leave prison and his supporters celebrating in the streets, I realised that Morsi was right in his position against the judges.

My certainty increased when head of the Constitutional Court, Adly Mansour, agreed to be a false witness to the military coup and become interim president.

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Mansour did not submit his resignation for his prior role that failed to uphold justice; nor did he protest against the killings and injuries of thousands of civilians in the protests – unlike his deputy Mohamed ElBaradei. The latter could not stand being part of these massacres and decided not only to resign, but also to leave the Egyptian scene and return to Vienna.

Military rule

Military rule has changed all formulas in Egypt. It deceived the people and grabbed a mandate to provide a popular, religious and political cover for the military coup. The army used this fake mandate to abort the Egyptian revolution and to cleanse the records of the corrupt ex-president Mubarak and his men.

Personally I will not be surprised if after his release, there are reports about the release of his sons Gamal and Alaa, and the retrial of former interior minister Habib al-Adli.

Abdel Bari Atwan is a prominent Arab journalist
Abdel Bari Atwan is a prominent Arab journalist

Isn’t it ironic that a president who was toppled by his people is released from prison, transferred in a helicopter and a red carpet is laid for him – whilst a democratically elected president from a free and fair election is locked up in prison on fabricated charges? Is this the military’s idea of justice?

We are asking the liberal leaders and the heads of National Salvation Front (NS), who consider themselves “protectors of democracy” and supporters of the civil state, for their opinion on this step.

They supported the military coup and provided it with the “revolutionary legitimacy” – but what is their opinion of the coup and this release at the same time?

What are their views on the country returning to a state of emergency and their perspectives on the deaths of thousands of peaceful protesters at Rabaa al-Adawiya and El-Nahda squares?

Fake Arab Spring

Personally I feel very disheartened when I see such a blasé response from these figures on the release of Hosni Mubarak; a man who used Egypt like private property for him and his sons; a man who associated himself with a group of corrupted businessmen, whilst more than forty million Egyptians lived below the poverty line.

This is a sad period for Egypt – its history, its people and its revolution; the very revolution that restored hope to poor people in Arab and Islamic regions, with anticipation for a new beginning, one with dignity.

Egypt is the leader and the most eligible country to lead the Arab nation into a renaissance project.

Mubarak can wave to the Egyptian people from his helicopter, gloating. His sons and their mother can celebrate, with members of corrupted gangs deeming this a great victory. Furthermore, Gulf States can join in with this carnival – why wouldn’t they? They objected from the very first moment the Egyptian revolution began, fighting against it and encouraging the Americans to annihilate it.

Dhahi Khalfan Tamim – Lieutenant General and chief of the Dubai Police Force – was wiser than us when he confidently predicted this end.

Our Arab Spring was fake. Western forces and their Arab allies succeeded in discharging it from all its positive ambitions, serving the interests of Israel’s security and stability.

This is a horrid stain in our history; it is a sad and painful day, not only for us who rejoiced for the revolutions, but also all for all those who sacrificed their lives in hope for a change.

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