Tahrir square, which has quickly become synonymous with political agitation and the expression of popular discontent in Egypt has once again witnessed mass protests. It became particularly symbolic following the revolution of 2011 which led to the upheaval of long time ruler Hosni Mubarak.
It wasn’t a peaceful revolution as an estimated eight hundred people (800) were killed by Mubarak’s security forces in 2011.
Yesterday, an Egyptian court dropped charges against the 86 year old ex President for the killing of protesters during the revolution which gave his regime the boot. Charges were also dropped against seven of his most senior officials who were formerly convicted in 2012.
Although it is instructive to remember that the former President is serving a separate three year sentence for charges of embezzlement of public funds.
A retrial was only ordered last year as a result of some technicalities; and human rights activists were quick to register their dismay. Many legal experts agree that the chances of convicting Hosni Mubarak were slim to begin with as the Prosecution was rushed just to play to the applause of the public.
In an interview during the ruling, Hosni Mubarak insisted he had done nothing wrong.
The people’s reaction to the judgment was predictable as more than 2,000 people massed at the Tahrir square to protest. Although, it’s not a large number by any stretch of the imagination, but perhaps it brought the memories of 2011 to mind.
The security forces were quick to respond, dispersing the crowd with tear gas and some report that there was live ammunition fired.
Perhaps, what happens in the next few days is going to be instrumental to Egypt’s future; will the protesters try to regroup and keep trying to register their discontent?