» 06/20/2012, 00.00
Egypt, Mubarak dying after a heart attack
Last night the state agency Mena pronounced him clinically dead, but later denied the report. After the heart attack, the commander was transferred from prison to Maadi military hospital. He is now in a coma and is sustained by an artificial respirator. But doubts persist about the actual state of his health.
Cairo (AsiaNews) - It's a mystery concerning the health of
former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, 84, in a coma since yesterday. The
former Commander, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for his responsibility
in the deaths of 850 demonstrators in Tahrir Square, was declared clinically
dead by the official agency Mena, which later denied the news. The only
thing that's certain is his emergency transfer from prison to the hospital
after a heart attack. He is allegedly attached to a respirator, but alive.
Meanwhile, the country prepares for a new wave of protests after the
presidential election results, which will be posted tomorrow. The head to head
is between Mohammed Morsy, of the Muslim Brotherhood, who has already declared
himself the winner, and Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak's last prime minister, backed by
the army and former regime members.
The mystery regarding the health of the Egyptian president
started in March 2011, after his deposition caused by the immense protests in
Tahrir Square. At all the sessions of the trial for corruption and murder, the Commander
always appeared lying on a stretcher. Many Egyptians argue that his showing
himself as dying was a tactic to win pity from the judges and the public and to
get life imprisonment instead of the death penalty. The project of his transfer
from the prison of Tora to Maadi military hospital was scheduled for June 2,
the day of his final conviction, which coincided with a deterioration of the
former president's health conditions. To date, no team of doctors has explained
the nature of the illness of the Egyptian Commander, who allegedly suffered a
heart attack and respiratory failure.
Born in 1928 into an upper-class family, Hosni Mubarak
entered the army as soon as he became of age, where he became a skilled pilot
trained in the Soviet schools. His consecration took place in 1973, during the
Yom Kippur War between Israel and Egypt, which earned him the Air Marshal's
stripes. His military career within the political establishment began in the
mid 70s with Anwar al-Sadat, the man responsible for the Egyptian turnaround
and the peace with Israel, and succeeded him at the helm of Egypt after the
death of Gamal Abd el-Nasser. On October 6, 1981 Mubarak was already
vice-president, when Sadat was assassinated by Islamic extremists during a
military parade. Mubarak, who was sitting next to the president, remained
unscathed, having bent down to tie his shoe: a coincidence about which his
detractors speculate at length, saying that he was aware of the imminent attack.
He assumed the reins of power, and would hold them for over
30 years, ruling with an iron fist thanks to the state of emergency that came
into force because of the death of Sadat, which allowed him to control very
effectively all forms of opposition. The silent repression of all dissent, the
fight against Islamic extremists and relations with Israel earned him economic,
political and military support from Western countries, particularly the United
The economic crisis of the 90s caused a first dip in support
for Mubarak, whose credibility would subsequently be damaged by some complaints
for having favored his son 'Ala in the processes of privatization of companies.
But it was mainly his other son, Gamal, chosen by the Commander as his heir and
unpopular with the Egyptian people, who earned him hatred and resentment even
within his own political party, the National Democratic Party. In 2005, the Commander
tested his strength in the presidential elections, held without a real opponent,
and won with 90% approval. With the more serious economic crisis of 2007, the
conditions of the Egyptian people precipitated. Over 50% of young people found
themselves with an education but without a job, and many decided to emigrate to
Europe or to wealthier bordering countries, such as Libya and Tunisia. With the
attacks in Alexandria on January 1, 2011, which cost dozens of deaths, even his
relationship with the Coptic Orthodox Egyptian Church hierarchy would be
broken. Suspicions fell on the secret services, controlled by the Commander's
The economic crisis, a police state, repression and the huge protests in
Tunisia organized against Ben Alì, caused the wrath of the population to
explode. On 25 January 2011, tens of thousands of people descended on Tahrir
Square for the day of "wrath", demanding an end to the regime, full
rights and a secular state. For 18 days between the Commander and the crowd of
protesters massed in Tahrir Square, a grueling test of strength played out that
would end on February 11, when the vice-president, Omar Suleiman, appeared on
TV and announced the long-awaited message: Mubarak has resigned. The former
president would flee to Sharm el-Sheik, while the new Egypt cried out for his
indictment for his regime's repression and corruption. In April of 2011, the
hospitalization for heart problems, then the trial and the sentencing to life
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