Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has died at the age of 91 after several weeks of hospitalization, Egypt’s state television reported Tuesday.
Mubarak was toppled in a popular uprising in Egypt after 30 years of rule, during the country’s 2011 Arab Spring revolution. He spent six years in jail following the protests, but was released in 2017 by Egypt’s highest appeals court, which cleared the majority of charges against him including inciting the killing of nearly 900 protesters. He was initially sentenced to life in prison in 2012, but an appeals court dismissed that sentence in 2014.
Mubarak was known for being a U.S. ally and strong opponent of Islamist militancy, with Egypt receiving some $1.5 billion annually in American aid, the second-highest amount of any country after Israel. Between 1948 and 2011, the U.S. sent Egypt roughly $72 billion in bilateral economic and military aid. He largely continued his predecessor Anwar Sadat’s policies, including preserving the Camp David accords and diplomatic relations with Israel.
For millions of ordinary Egyptians, however — particularly for the tens of thousands who protested in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in 2011 — Mubarak was a strongman and a dictator, known for arresting his opponents and cracking down on dissent. Human rights organizations for years criticized his harsh measures that included police brutality, arbitrary arrests, torture, lack of freedom of speech and assembly, and political censorship.