Prosecuting tyranny in the Arab world
A series of trials have taken place of Arab leaders who were overthrown by social movements and their demands for freedom and political reform in the Arab Spring. If we take a closer look at these trials and at their historical significance and impact on Arab countries, we can conclude that they did not deal fully with the injustices of despotic rule and with the crimes which accompanied that era.
The court cases began before the Arab Spring with the trial of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, and then after it with the trial of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and more recently with the trials of Omar al-Bashir in Sudan and the leading figures in Bouteflika’s regime in Algeria, including his brother. However, these trials did not address the major grievances which accumulated in the modern Arab autocratic era.
In the past, for example, Saddam Hussein was tried for the killing of a number of people in one particular area of Iraq, whilst Omar al-Bashir is now on trial for the huge funds which he either acquired or which were transferred to him from the public treasury or from other Arab countries.
The Arab dictators have not been prosecuted for "breach of trust" or "betrayal of the confidence placed in them by the people"; nor have they been tried for "abuse of power", for the wars they provoked, the executions they ordered, or for the hasty and reckless decisions they made.