The Washington Post

Hosni Mubarak trial captivates Egypt and social Web

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is seen on a TV screen as he enters the courtroom on a hospital bed, outside the Police Military Academy complex in Cairo. (Nasser Nasser/AP)

(Watch video here.)

Millions of Egyptians watched as Hosni Mubarak, the man who ruled Egypt with an iron fist for three decades, was wheeled into a makeshift cage in a courtroom in Cairo Wednesday, charged with corruption and ordering the killing of protesters earlier this year.

Egyptian Web site DailyNewsEgypt reports that reaction to the trial has been mixed, with some thanking the military council for letting Egyptians witness a historic day while others insist that the country should disregard the trial and move forward.

There have been some reports of clashes between Mubarak supporters and opponents outside the Cairo Police Academy, where the trial was being held. Cairo-based AhramOnline has a compiled reactions on the trial from those who were involved in the political movement.

“For the first time since my son died I feel hope and that my son did not die in vain. Finally the country is heading in the right direction.” — Ali Hassan, whose 20-year old son died during the revolution

On social media, reactions varied from anger to sympathy; some thought the trial was not harsh enough, some said that it was humiliating.

Still dont get why Mubarak gets civil trial though he calls himself a military man yet civilian protesters get military trials #nomilitrialsless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyZeinab Khalil

i just wish it didn’t happen during Ramadan and not Live on TV! Trials are for justice not humiliation! #justsayingehless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyAli Alsaloom

As Al-Jazeera asks if Mubarak’s supporters owe Egyptians an apology, there are some who think that the trial is symbolic for that very specific reason.

Now that #Mubarak is on trial, do his foreign supporters owe #Egypt an apology? than a minute ago via SocialFlow Favorite Retweet ReplyAl Jazeera English

Hope US, UK and all western nations who propped up Mubarak regime for three decades realise they are on trial too today #MubarakTrial #Egyptless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet ReplyJack Shenker

Our correspondent in Cairo reports that the image of Mubarak in a cage could divide the country as some who respected the former president found it “insulting and upsetting.”

Reactions will continue for some time, especially as the trial is on hold until Aug.15.

Anup Kaphle is the Post's digital foreign editor. He has an M.S. degree in journalism from Columbia University. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.


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