In Egypt, Thousands Protest After Mubarak Sentencing
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s life prison sentence for complicity in the killings of anti-government protesters has failed to appease some Egyptians who have taken to the streets in protest.
Thousands of demonstrators gathered in cities including Cairo and Alexandria on Saturday after Mubarak and former interior minister Habib al-Adly were convicted for their roles in the 2011 killings of hundreds of protesters, but six ex-police commanders were acquitted.
The court also acquitted Mubarak and his sons, Gamal and Alaa, of corruption charges.
Prosecutors had called for the death penalty for Mubarak, the only leader toppled in the Arab Spring uprisings to be tried in his own country.
Jubilant Mubarak opponents initially embraced and wept outside of the Cairo courthouse as the verdicts were announced, but the mood changed when it became clear that the former president and other former officials had not been convicted on all charges.
VOA correspondent Elizabeth Arrott says some Mubarak opponents have gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the site of mass protests in the lead-up to the former president’s resignation last year.
“They are waving the Egyptian flag. They are shouting for a cleansing of the judiciary. They are calling for new trials. And, it is quite a broad spectrum of people who have gone down there,” Arrott noted.
Meanwhile, Egyptian state media say Mubarak suffered an unspecified “health crisis” after the verdict. He received treatment at a prison hospital. The 84-year-old former president had consistently arrived in court on a stretcher.
Mubarak’s abrupt resignation in February 2011 ended his almost 30-year rule in Egypt. His lawyers are expected to appeal his sentence.
U.S. Secretary of States Hillary Clinton declined to comment on Mubarak’s conviction on Saturday. However, speaking in Norway, she expressed hope that Egypt’s election process would produce a result that is “accepted as reflecting the will of the Egyptian people.”
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.