Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been sent to prison for life.
Last year, as part of the Arab Spring protests* Mubarak was forced from government. He had been in power for nearly 30 years.
During the anti-Mubarak protests, Mubarak’s security forces fired on the protesters, killing more than 850 people.
Recently, a judge found Mubarak guilty of participating in those killings and sentenced him to life in prison.
The sentence outraged many people in Egypt, who felt the former dictator should have been given the death penalty.
They are also angry that six members of the former leader’s police force were declared ‘not guilty’ of participating in the killings of the protesters as well.
People say those police officers carried out the orders Mubarak gave them and they should be declared ‘guilty,’ like Mubarak was.
Many people have taken to the streets of Cairo to protest the decision.
There is a report that Mubarak has suffered what is being called a “health crisis” but details about it are not yet known.
Mubarak’s lawyers may appeal the life-sentence decision. If that happens, it could get overturned or a new sentence could be given to him.
Other Arab Spring dictators
Tunisia’s former president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was found guilty of drug and gun charges in July. He was tried in absentia which means that he was not present during the trial (he fled to Saudi Arabia in January 2011).
The former leader of Libya, Moammar Gadhafi, was killed by rebels last October.
Yemen’s former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, stepped down from power in February 2012. When massive anti-Saleh protests took place in Yemen, he agreed to step down. Because he agreed to hand over power, he was granted “immunity” from prosecution; in this case it means that in exchange for Saleh agreeing to step down, the lawyers agreed not to put him on trial.
*There are many articles about Arab Spring on TKN. Use TKN’s Search box to find the ones that are of interest to you.
Here is a TKN article that explains Egypt’s unrest:
Protests In Egypt
By Jonathan Tilly
Today’s article explains that many people feel that the,
“Police officers (who) carried out the orders Mubarak gave them… should be declared ‘guilty,’ like Mubarak was.”
Do you think that the officers are guilty or innocent for their role in the deaths of the protestors?
Reading Prompt: Analysing Texts
Does reading about the other leaders at the conclusion of the article affect the way you understand the Mubarak verdict?
Analyse a variety of texts, both simple and complex, and explain how the different elements in them contribute to meaning and influence the reader’s
reaction (OME, Reading: 1.7).
Grammar Feature: Using a Thesaurus
A thesaurus is a book that alphabetically lists synonyms. (A synonym is an alternative word that can be used in place of another). Like encyclopedias and dictionaries, thesauri are tools that can be found on the internet.
Find 3 synonyms for each of the words listed below:
1. Protest ________________________________________________
2. Outrage __________________________________________
3. Guilty _________________________________________________
4. Appeal ________________________________________________
When might using a thesaurus be more helpful than using a dictionary?