Africa

World media explore Mubarak trial

People watching the trial of Hosni Mubarak on an outdoor TV screen in Cairo Image copyright AFP
Image caption The trial has been closely watched by people across Egypt

A day after the court case against former President Hosni Mubarak began in Egypt a sense of pride prevailed in several Arabic-language dailies, which praised the Egyptian people for making the trial possible.

But many papers outside the region remained sceptical that the trial would have any significance beyond satisfying the immediate demands of the protesters.

Many commentators also expressed concern that the image of Mubarak in the dock would make leaders like Libya's Gaddafi and Syria's Assad cling to power as long and as fiercely as possible.

Ilyas al-Diri in Lebanese daily Al-Nahar

"The Arab World has never witnessed a civil, democratic and legal development at this level before... Yesterday, Cairo regained the dignity of Egypt, first, and the rest of the Arab nation."

UK-based Arabic-language daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi

"A historic moment has been documented and the symbols of tyranny have been put in the cage of accusations before the whole world... The Egyptian people are the heroes. They are the ones who created this miracle."

Pakistani daily Pakistan Today

"Though it is still not clear how Mubarak will be dealt with, the symbolism of the trial alone will be therapeutic for many."

Russian daily Vedomosti

"Looking at the humiliation which the former 'pharaoh' would have to endure dictators like Muammar Gaddafi will struggle for their power even more furiously."

Hafith al-Barghuthi in Palestinian daily Al-Hayat al-Jadidah

"This miserable scene of the pillars of the former Egyptian regime standing in the accusation box has given the Syrian regime strength."

Husnu Mahalli Turkish centre-right daily Aksam

"The trial… was a total comedy. It was completely ridiculous in terms of the place of the trial, the judges, prosecutors, solicitors of the defendants and plaintiffs, security precautions and lastly the television broadcasting techniques."

Saudi daily Al-Jazirah

"Many Egyptians, Arabs and non-Arabs, who love Egyptians, wish that the trial will not be a revenge for a previous stage in Egypt's history."

Ne'mat Ahmadi in Iranian daily E'temad

"Holding the trial in this manner - bringing 83-year old Hosni Mubarak, who is suffering from cancer, on a stretcher, will generate people's sympathy… This trial serves Mubarak's interests more than the people's."

Chinese daily Huanqiu Shibao (Global Times)

"Mubarak deserves punishment for his crimes, but Egypt's problems are not his fault alone. If a country blames an individual for its agony, it probably means the country is not ready yet to change itself."

Jordanian daily Al-Ra'y

"Despite all the violations, for which he Mubarak was in the dock yesterday while lying on his death bed, an appropriate military trial should have been arranged for him."

Eitan Haber in Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot

"There will be those who will say: Why the sorrow here? Mubarak was not a lover of Zion… But it was the same Mubarak who courageously decided to go in the steps of his master Anwar Sadat and to choose the path of peace… It seems we will miss him."

Yusuf Rizqah in Palestinian Hamas-run Filastin newspaper

"Israel can no longer stomach the Arab revolutions and movements of change, seeing regimes being formed according to the will of the people who reject occupation."

Iranian daily Keyhan

"The trial of Husni Mubarak and his family members shows that the US and Europe have lost their influence on Egypt completely… Mubarak's critical illness was a good excuse for the US to use its influence to suspend or delay the trial… but this did not happen and Mubarak was taken to trial with the utmost humiliation."

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.

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