Mubarak: A Lingering Problem

By Beau LaManna

In light of recent events in Egypt, the former president, Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison last Saturday.  Justice has been served, or so it would seem.  As a stark reminder, the sentencing of the now 83 year-old Mubarak represents a world in which protests and activism have progressed, especially through the outlets of social media. However, the verdict has sparked some outrage in Egypt, as many feel that he should have been sentenced to death for his actions during his 30-year presidential term. Furthermore, because Egypt is enraged by its current presidential election, protests continue in the midst of a “down with the next president” mentality.

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Of course, considering Mubarak is out of power, this ideology comes as a surprise and begs the question of just why the Egyptians are being so finicky in the upcoming election. As a comparison, even our freedom-loving America wouldn’t protest as vehemently as those in Egypt. Hosni Mubarak was president for 30 years. 30 long years. Corruption, electoral fraud, and censorship have all culminated to one central point that has yet to cease. Now, the Egyptians not only want a president, but they want a perfect president: a wish rather impossible.

Simply, the “down with the next president” mentality is absurd. While it is understandable that the Egyptians want perfection, protesting any leader who has a flaw in his or her record will get the Egyptians nowhere. It’s not time to let issues separate them; it’s now more important than ever for Egypt to rally behind those who can help them.

Interestingly enough, Mubarak’s sentence wasn’t the only important verdict that came to light at the courthouse; several interior ministers were also standing trial. They were being charged on the same grounds as Mubarak, and some were even responsible for the orders to use live ammunition against protesters last year. Each of these men received no jail time and no penalty whatsoever.

This outrageous detail conclusively proves that this issue is nowhere near solved. Egypt has not won over Mubarak, but rather, the Egyptian Government has won over the people. No justice was served by Mubarak’s life sentence and his legacy remains in other political figures. For the interior ministers are men who have committed crimes against the people they were meant to protect, and yet they have not been reprimanded.

As a result, Mubarak’s sentencing does little to heal the country.  The Egyptian citizens, as all humans, deserve what is right. Justice must be served to all those who committed crimes.  Protests will continue to go on unless something is legitimately done. But, Egyptians also have to realize comprise is necessary for progress.

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