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ARABICA: A Quick Shot Of What's Brewing In The Arab World
Kristen Gillespie

A R A B I C A ارابيكا

EGYPTIAN JUSTICE
Despite a revolution that culminated on February 11, 2011 when President Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power, Egypt's unresolved past continues to haunt the present. Deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak returned to court as the prosecution presented its case against him. A group of lawyers have demanded that treason be added to the charges against Mubarak, along with trying the former vice president and head of intelligence, Omar Suleiman.

*Suleiman, one of Mubarak's chief accomplices, has so far escaped any censure for his role in the previous regime. Lawyers also demanded that the head of the ruling military council Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi be tried for perjury and obstruction of justice for testifying that Mubarak had no role in killing 856 protesters during the January 25th revolution.

LIBYAN FINANCES
Libya's Foreign Minister Ashur bin Khayyal announced that the United States, France and other countries in Europe have returned $20 billion in frozen assets.

SYRIAN POLITICS
In his first speech to the nation since last June, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad repeated promises of political reforms and said a referendum on a new constitution would take place in March that will fold the opposition into the government. Assad, as regime members have done since the beginning of the uprising last March, blamed the entire course of events in Syria on an external conspiracy.

*The sideshow of Arab League observers continued to distract from the increased violence against Syrian civilians. The Syrian opposition announced that 22 people were killed across the country on Monday, with a 4-month-old baby in Homs as the youngest victim of the violence.

*Meanwhile, A unidentified commander from the Free Syrian Army told A-Sharq al-Awsat pan-Arab daily that paid thugs, known as shibaha, are selling weapons for army defectors. "We pay them $500 for an RPG and $2,000 for an AK-47," he said. The FSA purchases the weapons with donations from Syrian citizens, he said.

Jan. 11, 2012

photo credit: illustir

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Ideas

Iran: A Direct Link Between Killing Protesters And The Routine Of State Executions

Iran has long had a simple and prolific response to political opposition and the worst criminal offenses, namely death by shooting or hanging. Whether opening fire on the streets or leading the world in carrying out the death penalty, the regime insists that morality is on its side.

Protesters linked to the Iranian group Mojahedin-e Khalq demonstrate in Whitehall, London in 2018

Ahmad Ra'fat

-Editorial-

In early September, before Iran's latest bout of anti-government protests sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, there was another, quieter demonstration: Relatives of several prisoners sentenced to death staged a sit-in outside the judiciary headquarters in Tehran, urging the authorities to waive the sentences. The crowd, which doggedly refused to disperse, included the convicts' young children.

Executions have been a part and parcel of the Islamic Republic of Iran since its inception in 1979. The new authorities began shooting cadres of the fallen monarchy with unseemly zeal, usually after a summary trial. On Feb. 14, 1979, barely three days after the regime was installed, the first four of the Shah's generals were shot inside a secondary school in Tehran.

To this day, the regime continues to opt for death by firing squad for its political opponents; the execution method-of-choice for more socio-economic blights like drug trafficking has been death by hanging.

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