Twitter reveals mixed reaction to Mubarak’s acquittal

Mubarak was acquitted of conspiring to kill protestors during the 2011 uprising

Asma Ajroudi
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The acquittal of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Saturday was met with a mixture of “shock,” “disappointment” and “relief” by users of social media website Twitter.

Also read: Egypt’s “Trial of the Century”: a step forward or back?


A contentious figure, Mubarak, 86, who ruled Egypt for three decades, was cleared - along with six of his senior officials - of conspiring to kill protesters during the Jan. 25 2011 mass uprising that led to his resignation just weeks later. The former president was also cleared of a corruption charge involving gas exports to Israel.

Sultan al-Qassemi, a commentator on Arab affairs and of the Middle East’s most prolific users of the site, according to U.S.-based Time magazine, tweeted today: “Can I have my four years back?”

Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, who is currently serving a prison sentence in Egypt on charges of conspiring with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, wrote on Twitter: “What time is the [Jan. 25] funeral and where is the burial taking place?”

But common Egyptians – and non-Egyptians – also took social networks to jot their thoughts down using hashtags such as #MubarakTrial as well as other Arabic hashtags such as “The Trial of the Century” – a term Egyptian local media used to refer to the trial.

“I enjoyed the play…it was so damn real. It was so good that they actually killed real ppl [people],” said one Egyptian Twitter user.

While activists claimed a death toll that exceeded 800 people during the uprising, the court only considered 239 deaths – of which Mubarak has been cleared of today.

“I find it hard to believe that all martyrs we heard about were only 239,” Mohamed Zaki, an Egyptian expat residing the the Qatari capital of Doha told Al Arabiya News. “It doesn’t make sense.”

“I have no idea where the evidence disappeared,” Zaki said. “How come the district attorney office and the court didn’t see all the videos showing police officers killing unarmed citizens?

“It's very disappointing to see that your country is corrupt to this extent.”

Yomna Abedel Rahim, a Dubai-based Egyptian expat, also expressed “disappointment” at the news of Mubarak's acquittal.

“I am only so disappointed and depressed by what is happening. That’s it, I don’t have trust in any entity in Egypt,” adding that the judiciary is on “top of the list.”

“I just hate how they are passing people like the fools they are and the masses won’t complain because they want what they consider stability,” said Nour Ismail, a university student in Egypt.

“The court acquitted Mubarak, but the people will not,” said Youssef Bissada, an Egyptian university student studying in France. “Thank you for this theatrical play that lasted for three years, you were creative in scriptwriting, acting and directing,” he added.

Social media users also created memes and satirical cartoons and photos on the news of the aquittal.

One Twitter user, Yaser al-Shamri, posted a picture of Mubarak lying on a portable bed and said: “Wake up uncle. It’s over. You are innocent.”

Others, however, cheered the court’s decision.

Suhail al-Abdool wrote on his Twitter page in Arabic: “We congratulate the Egyptian people for the acquittal of former president, his sons and his aides. This is a victory for the transparent Egyptian judiciary.”

Another Twitter user, Fajr al-Saeed, tweeted: “True Hero. He didn’t run away and put up with humiliation under the hands of people who do not fear God until his innocence was proven.”

Mashaael al-Juaid wrote: “The [rightful] acquittal [has occured] of his excellency former Egyptian president Mohammed Hosni Mubarak, one of the Arab heroes and leaders.”

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