Egypt Junta Poised to Release Mubarak

Release Sets Stage for Even Bigger Protests

30-year dictator Hosni Mubarak has been in prison for the past couple of years on charges of murdering protesters and corruption. It was only a matter of time after last month’s coup, but a court has ordered him released.

And why not? The current junta is massacring protesters at a rate that would like make even the old military ruler blush, and corruption is and has been Egypt’s military’s stock in trade for decades.

Indeed, it’s likely the only reason that the new junta didn’t release the dictator the moment they took over is because of how bad it would look, and how much it would undercut the claims that the elected government was “terrorists” that the coup saved the nation from.

Still, while the military has tried to present de facto ruler Gen. El-Sisi as a continuation of the line of “great” military leaders, they have conspicuously left Mubarak off that list because of the sheer recency of his atrocities. Letting him go was inevitable, but will also be unconscionable to a lot of the pro-junta politicians, who have tried to position their support for Sisi as a continuation of the anti-Mubarak “revolution.”

With mass protests continuing across Egypt in opposition to the coup, expect the demonstrators to get a huge shot in the arm from this news, and don’t be surprised if the Muslim Brotherhood finds a lot of new allies in the near future, as Mubarak’s release underscores that Egypt’s revolution has been rolled back.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.