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Egyptians Awake To Mubarak Under House Arrest And Mursi In Prison

posted 23 Aug 2013, 02:24 by Mpelembe   [ updated 23 Aug 2013, 02:25 ]

Egyptian political activist says some Egyptians fear a return to army-dominated old order after former autocrat Hosni Mubarak was freed from jail.

CAIROEGYPT (AUGUST 23, 2013) (REUTERS) -  Traffic on the streets of Cairo is returning to normal after weeks of unrest, as people drive by the Maadi military hospital where former Egyptian PresidentHosni Mubarak is under house arrest on Friday (August 23).

Mubarak, the military strongman who ruled Egypt for three decades with an iron fist, was released from Tora prison on Thursday (August 23).

Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison last year for failing to prevent the killing of demonstrators.

But a court accepted his appeal earlier this year and ordered a retrial. He is still being retried on charges of complicity in the killing of protesters during the revolt against him, but he has already served the maximum pre-trial detention in that case.

The court ruling removed the last legal ground for his imprisonment in connection with a corruption case, following a similar decision in another corruption case on Monday (August 19).

Mubarak will not be allowed to leave Egypt and his assets remain frozen.

On Friday (August 23) newspaper headlines reported news of the 85-year-old's release, which has come as a strong blow to the protesters of the 2011 revolution.

Ahmed Maher is one of the co-founders of the April 6 movement. A prominent political activist, he was one of the main players in the revolution that toppled Mubarak.

''What happened regarding the release of Mubarak, was a consequence of the path we took after Mubarak left, in February. So of course this something that is unacceptable, and it has provoked many revolutionary groups,'' said Maher.

Mubarak's release is seen as a symbolic victory for the army-dominated old order, especially as Mubarak's freely elected successor, Mohamed Mursi, remains in jail.

Maher said many people now fear the return of the old regime, and that the situation is even more complicated than during the time when Mubarak was in power.

''We all fear the return of the old regime, as individuals or the policies (of the old regime). There are indeed many right-winged armed radical groups, right now there is an exceptional situation right now where emergency law has been put in place again, which could lead to the emergency situation (like the one under Mubarak) and oppression, and so the situation could be more complicated before January 25,'' said Maher.

Mursi supporters are due to stage a "Friday of martyrs" of mass protests, risking more potential bloodshed to show they can still claim the streets after a week in which hundreds were gunned down and their leaders jailed.

Egyptians are enduring the bloodiest civil unrest of their modern history after the military overthrew Mursi on July 3 following demonstrations against his rule.