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Unfinished RevolutionsYemen, Libya, and Tunisia after the Arab Spring$
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Ibrahim Fraihat

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300215632

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300215632.001.0001

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Dealing with the Former Regime

Dealing with the Former Regime

Accountability and Lustration

(p.141) Eight Dealing with the Former Regime
Unfinished Revolutions

Ibrahim Fraihat

Yale University Press

This chapter argues that Libya, Tunisia, and Yemen need to pursue accountability and lustration within the framework of a transitional justice law. Accountability must include prosecuting perpetrators of past violations to curtail acts of vengeance and establish individual accountability. Lustration, meaning the regulation of the participation of those who were associated with the former regime in the new political system, must be handled carefully. This chapter explains how in Libya revolutionaries have meted out justice in an ad hoc fashion and forced parliament to pass a draconian political isolation law that excludes anyone who had a prominent government role at any point during Qaddafi’s 42-year reign from politics. Tunisia has taken a systematic approach, employing a transitional justice law that was informed by a national dialogue to investigate former regime figures involved in crimes and corruption, and deciding against lustration. In Yemen, Saleh secured immunity in return for ceding power, thereby pre-empting accountability efforts, and his party remained in place, unreformed. As a result, Saleh has been able to disrupt Yemen’s transition. This chapter concludes that “retributive justice” is not sufficient for building a strong foundation for national reconciliation and civil peace, and that “restorative justice” is badly needed.

Keywords:   Libya, Yemen, Tunisia, Accountability, Lustration, Amnesty, Retributive justice, Restorative justice, Transitional justice

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