Mubarak shouldn’t be executed
Israeli publication Haaretz quoted Egyptian Ruz Al Yusuf over the weekend about a letter which was sent by the deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to a number of world leaders, requesting they save him from execution and help his family.
The report says Mubarak has sent letters to the leaders of the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy in the West and Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Lebanon in the Middle East.
Mubarak has been on trial since Aug. 3, 2011, following his resignation Feb. 11 of the same year as a result of the Tahrir Square protests that started on Jan. 25. The prosecutors have asked for the death penalty against him on charges of corruption and being responsible for the deaths of at least 850 protestors.
The death penalty is still widely used in the eastern political geographies to get even with the past and open a new page.But that new page could not be a better one with the execution of the former leaders, as we can recall in four distinctive examples: Libya, Iraq, Pakistan and Turkey.
In Turkey in 1960 the military rule that toppled the elected government had allowed the death penalties by the military courts executed against Prime Minister Adnan Menderes, Foreign Minister Fatin Rüştü Zorlu and Finance Minister Hasan Polatkan. Besides being brutal, the trauma led to a chain of economic and political crises and two more military coups in the country, which could be gotten rid of in the 2000s starting with abolishing the death penalty.
In Pakistan then-Turkish Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit tried hard and wrote a letter to the 1977 coup leader Gen. Zia ul Haq of Pakistan for him to pardon the death penalty given by the courts against the prime minister whom he toppled, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Bhutto was executed in 1978, which led to a chain of instabilities not only in Pakistan but all over the region and the rise of militant Islamist movements like the Taliban and al-Qaeda in neighboring Afghanistan.
In Iraq, Saddam Hussein, who had been toppled by the invasion armies of the U.S.-led coalition in 2003, was executed in 2006, in hopes it would sooth the insurgency against the new Baghdad. Today the new Baghdad is a source of the escalating tension amid fears of a sectarian and ethnic civil war in the country.
In Libya, the execution of the iron-fisted ruler Moammar Gadhafi was without trial and violent. Libya is still in turmoil and uncertainty. Whereas things started to settle down in Tunisia and Egypt as elections were carried out and Islamist movements (Ennahda in Tunisia and Ehvani Muslim in Egypt) are in a process of transformation to redefine them closer to center, perhaps with some inspiration from Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Despite all its pains Egypt is going in the right direction toward a more democratic life. The new Egyptian government should not let the execution of its former ruler, even if the court would rule for one. Let alone its humanitarian dimension, which suggests that you cannot take the life you did not give in the first place, Cairo should be wise enough to draw the correct political lessons from the neighborhood.