Known as the “Chief Torturer” in Egypt, his death brought about mixed emotions amongst the Egyptian people. Under his reign, activists and Islamists were arrested and tortured. He is known to have struck fear into thousands perhaps even millions of his people. Egyptian Human Rights lawyer Malik Adly called Suleiman an “international butcher."
Omar Suleiman testified during the trial of Hosni Mubarak when he should have been tried alongside of him for failing to end the killing of protesters the January 25th Revolution. Adly added, “Suleiman himself is deeply involved. But no one brought him to justice, why? This is the thing we never know.”
On Saturday, Suleiman’s funeral procession took place at al-Rashdan Mosque in Cairo with military honors. Several hundred attended, including the Grand Mufti and his delegation from al-Azhar mosque as well as members of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) and its head, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi. Appropriately, Egypt’s new President, Mohamed Morsi did not make a presence at Suleiman’s funeral, instead sending the Grand Chamberlain on his behalf. His appearance would have been seen as someone who is supportive of the old regime known as the Felool or “remnants” in Arabic. Some liberals saw the funeral as a means of the Muslim Brotherhood supporting the SCAF, albeit the procession not really being in their hands.
Felool supporters carried photos of the ex-head of intelligence and chanted slogans against President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, calling him a “foreign agent.”
The 76-year-old Suleiman died in Cleveland, Ohio after undergoing medical tests. According to an autopsy, he died from a rare disease known as amyloidosis, which affects the heart, kidneys, and other organs. His death came as a surprise, not only because his illness was not known, but also the fact that the ailing Mubarak has technically outlived him.
Suleiman’s death is a reminder that members of the old regime will not live forever, that they are fallible indeed, and that eventually these men will all be replaced. This begs the question of when and by whom?By Holly Dagres, Aslan Media Columnist