Arab Spring Blossoms over Egypt - 6/2/2012

World History |


What is known as “Arab Spring” sparked a revolution in the Middle East. Nations of people banding together in opposition against their oppressive governments. One of the victories to come out of Arab Spring, a life in prison sentence to the former president of Egypt. It was on this day, June 2, 2012, that President Hosni Mubarak was convicted of failing to stop the murders of hundreds of anti-government protesters during the 2011 Arab Spring. The uprising forced an end to Mubarak’s nearly 30 years in power, and by the end of his trial the 84-year-old was sentenced to life in prison.

Mubarak was born in Egypt in 1928, and lived there his entire life. During his younger years he was an Egyptian air force commander, and after that he was selected by President Anwar Sadat to be his native country’s vice president, in 1975. In October 1981, Sadat was assassinated by an Islamic gunmen during a military parade in the nation’s capital, Cairo. Upon this death, Mubarak transitioned into Egypt’s fourth president. Mubarak’s three decade reign of terror was plagued with political regression, economic stagnation, and obvious government corruption.

This was a great deal in the Arab community, because Egypt is the most populated country in the Arab world. Amid his entire establishment, the country was under “emergency law.” This law allowed the government to detain and arrest people completely, without charging them whatsoever. As a result of such tight and unjust restraints, police brutality skyrocketed during this period. Finally, in January 25, 2011, the citizens of Egypt answered their once feared leader and his regime. Mass protests erupted in Cairo and other Egyptian cities, which called for Mubarak to resign from his presidency. Tunisia had seen similar protests earlier that year, which resulted in the country’s authoritarian president’s downfall, on January 14, 2011. 

On February 1, Mubarak announced he would not go for re-election in September. Despite the announcement, protest momentum still grew and tensions, between Mubarak supporters and anti-government protesters, grew thick and turned violent. Just ten days later, Mubarak declared he would give authority to his vice president but would not leave his position. However, the next day, he gave power to the Egyptian Military and escaped to the resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh. Then in August of the same year, Mubarak was tried for failing to stop the murders of anti-government protesters. On Jun 2, 2012 he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. On June 30, 2012, Egypt saw their first democratically elected president sworn into office, Mohamed Morsi. 

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