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Hosni Mubarak's 'iron-fisted' 30-year rule: A visual history
After decades of authoritarian order, Egypt's toppled pharaoh is sick, caged, and fighting for his life and freedom
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, 1999 DENNIS BRACK/POOL/epa/Corbis
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or many Egyptians, ousted President Hosni Mubarak's appearance Wednesday in a defendant's cage before a judge was one of celebration and redemption. "Today is a day of great happiness for all Egyptians… finally everyone is equal before the law, no matter who they are," said Mohammed El Kassas, a member of the January 25 Youth Coalition. Mubarak faces charges of corruption and ordering the killing of protesters who ultimately swept him from power six months ago. If convicted, the former leader could face the death penalty. Caged and lying on a gurney in a Cairo courtroom, Mubarak denied all charges. The shocking sight of the gaunt, ailing former despot is a far cry from the defiant leader who ruled the nation with an "iron fist" for nearly 30 years. Here, a look back at the three decades of Mubarak's authoritarian rule.

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