Last Updated on February 26, 2020

Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s Former President Dies at 91

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Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s president for almost 30 years who stepped down after a popular revolution in 2011, has died at 91.

Mubarak served as Egypt’s fourth president starting in 1981 until his ouster in what became known as the Arab Spring revolution.

He was born MuhammadHosni El Sayed Mubarak in a rural village in the Nile Delta in 1928. 

Mubarak, who died on Tuesday, left behind a very complicated legacy. Hosni Mubarak’s rule was partly characterised by corruption, police brutality, political repression, and entrenched economic problems. 

Before he entered politics, Mubarak was a career officer in the Egyptian Air Force. He joined the Egyptian Air Force in 1949 and served as its commander from 1972 to 1975 and rose to the rank of air chief marshal in 1973. Sometime in the 1950s, Hosni Mubarak returned to the Air Force Academy as an instructor, remaining there until early 1959.

Mubarak’s time as Egypt’s President

Mubarak assumed the presidency after the assassination of Anwar Sadat. Hosni Mubarak’s presidency lasted almost thirty years, making him Egypt’s longest-serving ruler since Muhammad Ali Pasha, who ruled the country from 1805 to 1848, a reign of 43 years. 

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Mubarak stepped down after 18 days of demonstrations during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. On 11 February 2011, former Vice President Omar Suleiman announced that Mubarak and he had resigned as president and vice president respectively and transferred authority to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

On 13 April 2011, a prosecutor ordered Hosni Mubarak and both of his sons to be detained for 15 days of questioning about allegations of corruption and abuse of power. Mubarak was then ordered to stand trial on charges of negligence for failing to halt the killing of peaceful protesters during the revolution.

These trials began on 3 August 2011. On 2 June 2012, an Egyptian court sentenced Mubarak to life imprisonment. After sentencing, he was reported to have suffered a series of health crises. On 13 January 2013, Egypt’s Court of Cassation (the nation’s high court of appeal) overturned Mubarak’s sentence and ordered a retrial. 

On retrial, Mubarak and his sons were convicted on 9 May 2015 of corruption and given prison sentences. Mubarak was detained in a military hospital and his sons were freed 12 October 2015 by a Cairo court. He was acquitted on 2 March 2017 by the Court of Cassation and released on 24 March 2017.

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