Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s former president who ruled the country from 1981 until the revolution of 2011, has died at the aged of 91, the country’s state media reported on Tuesday.
Mubarak ruled Egypt with an iron fist until he was overthrown during the so-called Arab Spring uprisings that toppled leaders throughout the region.
The strongman was arrested in April 2011, two months after being ousted from office, and then sentenced with life in prison. But he was acquitted in 2017 after six years in prison on charges that he ordered the killing of anti-government protesters.
Since their release, Mubarak’s family has remained in Egypt, where they have kept a low profile but still enjoy special treatment under former general and current president Abdel Fattah el-Sissi. El-Sissi led the military overthrow of elected but divisive Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, Mubarak’s immediate successor.
Mubarak — a longtime U.S ally and supporter of peace with Israel — came to personify the outdated, authoritarian mode of government that protesters rallied against in Cairo’s Tahrir Square for 18 days in 2011. They were joined by millions of other protesters in towns and cities across the country.
The charges against Mubarak said he failed to prevent the killing of almost 900 protesters, but on appeal he was acquitted in 2014, to the anger of many Egyptians who again took to the streets.
However, Mubarak and his two sons, Alaa and Gamal, were then charged and imprisoned on corruption charges. The sons walked free in 2015 but Mubarak wasn’t released until 2017, then aged 88. He had spent much of his prison time in hospital.
On Saturday, the two sons were separately acquitted of illicit share trading during the sale of an Egyptian bank to the Bank of Kuwait in 2007.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.