Political activists said the imprisonment of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his two sons, pending further investigation, offers an opportunity to restore confidence between the public and the military officials who are governing the country.
Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, the public prosecutor, ordered the detention of Mubarak Wednesday (April 13th) for 15 days pending an investigation into charges of inciting attacks on demonstrators during the January protests. Mubarak's two sons Alaa and Gamal were also detained for 15 days pending an investigation.
The arrests were announced in a statement issued by the attorney general. The statement added that a report by a medical committee indicated the former president ''is suffering from health conditions that require transfer to a hospital for medical care during his interrogation. Therefore, the Attorney General decided that he should be kept in custody and interrogated at the Sharm el-Sheikh International Hospital."
Alaa and Gamal were flown in a military plane from Sharm el-Sheikh to the Tura prison in Cairo after being interrogated at a court in the city of Sinai.
A number of former senior officials were sent to Tura prison on charges of corruption and misuse of public funds including former chief of staff Zakaria Azmi; the President of the People's Assembly, Fathi Sorour; the Shura Council Speaker Safwat El-Sharif; the former Interior Minister, Habib al-Adli; former National Democratic Party leader Ahmed Ezz; and the former Ministers of Tourism and Housing.
The January 25th Youth Coalition announced it will cancel protests next Friday, which were intended to put pressure on the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to expedite the proceedings against Mubarak, his family, and former senior officials.
The coalition said Wednesday it decided to "reconsider its decision to suspend dialogue with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces", which it had announced on Sunday after the clashes in Tahrir Square last week between the army and demonstrators. One person was killed, and 71 were injured during the clashes.
Nasser Abdel Hamid, a member of the coalition, told Al-Shorfa, "The coalition welcomes these actions out of faith in the administration of justice, including the provision of all guarantees of a fair trial for Mubarak, his family and others who were involved in violations of the rights of Egyptians."
Abdel Hamid said the coalition will continue to exert pressure to achieve all the demands of the revolution, notably an announcement by a fact finding committee that investigated the events of Saturday in Tahrir Square, the release of all political prisoners, the abolition of military trials for civilians, the dissolution of local councils and the National Party, and the return of all its offices to the state.
Activists said the suspension of demonstrations in Tahrir Square in the coming weeks, and the return of national political forces to the dialogue table with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces would restore stability to the Egyptian street. Tensions flared during the past two weeks because of the failure to start trial proceedings against Mubarak and former senior government officials.
Abdul Jalil Mustafa, co-ordinator of the National Assembly for Change, said there is no room for fear anymore from the remains of the National Democratic Party. He added, "The people must have confidence in their national political forces and the army which has proved day after day its ability to protect the revolution and achieve its full demands."
Mustafa said the National Assembly for Change supports the continuation of demonstrations in universities to demand the dismissal of university leaders affiliated with the former regime who contributed to corruption in the universities.
Anwar Esmat el-Sadat, founder of the Reform and Development Party, said the decision to hold Mubarak accountable should have been made immediately.
He said, "The desire of the responsible authorities to collect proper evidence and documentation to present against the corrupt individuals was the cause of the delay." He said the decision to imprison Mubarak marks the true beginning of a revolution towards reform and development.
El-Sadat added, "The revolution succeeded in mobilising all Egyptians to oppose corruption, and this is the first step toward building a modern state." He added that this would provide for political stability prior to the next parliamentary elections that are scheduled for September.