Egyptians are back to the streets after a court acquitted former president Hosni Mubarak of killing protestors during the January 25 revolution against his regime. Charges were also dropped against Mubarak and his co-defendants, who included Interior Minister Habib Eladly and his two sons, in relation to corruption charges linked to a gas deal with Israel.
In the 18 days Mubarak remained in power after the start of anti-regime protests, some 900 protestors are estimated to have been killed by regime forces and thousands more arrested until he finally stepped down in February 2011. Mubarak, 86, has since spent around three and a half years in detention, mostly well-cared for at hospitals, under different charges.
According to Mada Masr, the judge in today's trial dismissed charges against Mubarak “citing a procedural error by the prosecutors.”
The progressive bilingual news site adds:
Mubarak was not originally a defendant in the case and prosecutors did not add him to the case until two months after it was filed. This, to the judge, showed that the prosecution had implied “there were no grounds for criminal proceedings” against Mubarak.
The Mubarak trial saga has had its ups and downs, but today's verdict seems to be like one of the final straws Egyptians can take. Despite being muzzled by a controversial anti-protest law which has seen the jailing of countless protestors, Egyptians enraged at the judgement took to the streets to vent off.
Tahrir Square, the epi-centre of the Egyptian revolution, was off-limits, walled by barbed wire and armed personnel when checked people's ID cards. Clashes took place nearby as more protestors gathered to decry the verdict.
— إسراء فهيد (@EsraaFehead) November 29, 2014
It started with five brave men and is growing and will continue to grow
— Nadia (@NadyaHassan) November 29, 2014
Tahrir Square a few minutes ago. There are still people saying No and we will not hear the end of it
الناس بتنزل والأعداد بتزيد pic.twitter.com/im8XpMa7kg
— marwaan emad (@647MARO) November 29, 2014
More people are joining the protestors and the numbers are increasing
— #FreeSanaa (@Mahmoud_salmani) November 29, 2014
In front of the barbed wire at Tahrir Square in protest against the innocence of Mubarak
— جيمى (@jIMMY_540) November 29, 2014
The number of people is on the rise and the situation will get out of hand at any moment
Very soon, the crackdown begins. Blogger Omar Elhadi, with 136K followers on Twitter, provides the run down of events today:
كدة التاريخ ماشي صح.. مبارك براءة والناس نزلوا يعترضوا والسيسي ضربهم بالغاز والخرطوش وقبض عليهم
— Omar Elhady (@Asadx) November 29, 2014
This way history is taking its course. Mubarak is innocent, people protest and take to the streets and Sisi attacks them with tear gas and gun shot and arrests them
On Twitter, reactions continued to pour in throughout the day. In his first television interview, Mubarak claims he has not committed anything wrong. Johnathan Moremi reminds him:
— Jonathan Moremi (@jonamorem) November 29, 2014
Amro Ali resorts to sarcasm to vent off:
— Amro Ali (@_amroali) November 29, 2014
Ahmed Khalil wonders:
الشعب يريد اسقاط النظام ، هل سقط النظام ام ما زال يحكم ؟؟؟
— Ahmad (@ahmad_khalil) November 29, 2014
The people want to overthrow the regime. Have they done that or is the regime still in power?
And Mohamed Emam confirms:
كان لازم مبارك يطلع براءة .. عشان الشعب يتأكد آن لسه النظام ما سقطش
— Mohamed Emam (@memam8) November 29, 2014
Mubarak had to be acquitted for the people to understand that the regime has not been overthrown
Hind, a Libyan blogger with more than 31K followers, says what Egypt needs to end the stalemate .. is a revolution.
Rampant corruption, crackdown on civil society, opaque judicial system, no free speech, impunity -you know what Egypt needs? A revolution.
— Hend (@LibyaLiberty) November 29, 2014