Former Egyptian president Mubarak dies, aged 91: state tv
Hosni Mubarak, the three-decade former president of Egypt who ushered in laws that gave the military extensive power while the country was under his helm, died on Tuesday, according to state television. He was 91.
The former strongman had been ill and was admitted to the intensive care unit at the Galaa military hospital in Cairo, where he died. He reportedly had underwent surgery on 23 January.
“This morning, my father, president Mubarak, passed away,” his son Alla wrote on Twitter.
Calling Mubarak a “military leader and war hero”, the Egyptian presidency issued a statement on Tuesday and offered condolences to his family.
Untouchable until toppled
Under former air force commander Mubarak, Egypt became the centre of Middle East politics following his rise to power after the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in 1981.
He positioned himself as defender against Islamists, ally of the United States, and key to peace with Israel. The US pushed him to enact reforms in the North African country, but he resisted. Press freedom was considerably curtailed during his 30-year rule.
After surviving an 1995 assassination attempt by Islamist militants in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the seat of the African Union [then called the Organization of African Unity], he vowed never to return again for the regional summits.
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But his reluctance to enact reforms contributed to his eventual downfall as tens of thousands of Egyptians took to the streets that began on 25 January 2011. The police brutality unleashed on the civilian population angered Egyptians, who were tired of symbols of democracy, such as the 2010 parliamentary elections, which were reportedly regarded as rigged.
After 18 days of young Egyptians taking to the streets of Cairo and other cities throughout the country and calling for freedom, Mubarak was toppled.
Detention and prison
Mubarak was accused of overseeing the police brutality and numerous deaths in detention during the protests which resulted in charges against him after he was deposed. He was also charged with corruption in a number of court cases, but ultimately acquitted of most charges.
While initially convicted with his former security chief in 2012 and sentenced to life in prison for the deaths of some 900 protesters during the uprising, both were acquitted on appeal in 2014.
Between his April 2011 arrest and his jail time for other offenses, he spent almost six years in prison hospitals.
He and his sons, Alaa and Gamal, were slapped with a three-year prison sentence. The sons were released in 2015 for time served, while Mubarak went free in 2017.
The former president lived a comfortable, quiet existence in Cairo until his illness, according to reports.
General Mounir Thabet, Mubarak’s brother-in-law, told newswire AFP that the office of the presidency would be making funeral arrangements.
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