April 14, 2011

Egypt Detains Ousted Mubarak and Sons

protesters in Tahrir Square of Egypt, protest against military rulers
Tens of thousands of Egyptians once again packed Tahrir Square Last Friday, to demand changes in the name of their country. They gathered to support each other and speak in Unison that they were unhappy with the speed in which the ruling military supreme council was moving with reforms, and that they wanted Hosni Mubarak, his sons, and many close associates to be investigated for fraud, abuse of power, and corruption which allowed them to amass wealth. That all changed as a government prosecutor (formerly appointed by Mubarak himself) announced publicly that Mubarak and his sons had been detained. Authorities followed this up by telling the press Hosni Mubarak and his sons were held for questioning related to corruption and abuses under Mubarak's three decade rule. Authorities disclosed the former leader's sons are currently jailed in Tora Prison.

Former Egyptian Ruler in Custody

Egypt places Hosni Mubarak and sons under Investigation for Corruption and Abuses
The Former Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarak, ousted by a popular revolt in February 2011, is under police custody at a hospital in the Red Sea Resort of Sharm El Sheik after suffering a heart attack. Authorities say he is well enough to answer questions. As anti-Mubarak protesters gathered outside the Hospital where Mubarak was being questioned, some political analyst suggested Mubarak may be getting assistance in getting out of the country, using the need for medical attention abroad as his reason. Whatever the case maybe, the English-Language website of Egyptian State-run newspaper reported the two Mubarak sons arrived to prison unshaven and wearing all white outfits (a far cry from the business suits the public is accustomed to seeing them in). The newspaper printed a quote from a source at the Prison saying "Gamal did not look like the Gamal we have seen on TV; he is in a state of total disbelief." The Associated Press reported also reported that as the Mubarak Sons were driven away to jail, a crowd that had gathered, pelted the police van carrying Mubarak sons, with stones, water bottles, and flip-flop (seemingly in a sign of disrespect as I don't think a Sandal can do permanent physical damage - although I might be wrong). Besides the two Mubarak brothers Gamal and Alaa, other prisoners at the Tora Prison include the former prime minister, the former minister of the interior, the former secretary general of the ruling party - Mr. Mubarak's former Chief of Staff.

Egyptian ruling military council is led by Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi
It's believed that the ruling Military council and the de facto leader, Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, was feeling the pressure from the public's call for a faster investigation to be launched, and for the Revolution to move forward in a direction that would bring more equality to the Egyptian people. The recent Friday that protesters gathered by the tens of thousands in Tahrir square, there were calls heard for the resignation of members of the supreme council including Tantawi himself. A somewhat forceful and brutal push was made by the army to clear the square, the ended in several deaths. The square was filled with people through Tuesday even after the Army's attempt to forcefully remove protesters. Although progress in meeting the protesters demands with the announced investigation was made, critics warned of using extralegal means to try Mubarak and his sons, denying them of their full legal rights. Tantawi is an interesting character. He seemed to keep a low key up until the fall of Hosni Mubarak. Now he is the leader who must guide Egypt through this historical point in time, to transition into a government that hopefully meets the needs and aspirations of it's people. I can't help but remember however, about an article I read in the NY Times which I'll link to here, about the The Egyptian Military and the Economy. It was amazing how many interest the Egyptian army has in the economy. Reforms to open the economy seems to me, would mean giving up some of their control in the stakes they already hold. The enabler in many ways, was Mubarak himself who before his fall from power, was not only the President of Egypt, but also the Chairman of the Supreme Council that now leads the country.

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