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Tunisia's Ousted President Sentenced to Life in Prison

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    A Tunisian court has sentenced ousted Tunisian leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali to life in prison for his role in the killing of protesters during last year's uprising that triggered Arab Spring demonstrations across the Middle East.



    The court in Kef sentenced the former leader in absentia Wednesday because he is living in exile in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government has so far refused to hand over Ben Ali and his wife to Tunisian officials.



    The court also sentenced Ben Ali's interior minister, Rafik Belhaj Kacem, to at least 12 years in prison over the killing of protesters during last year's unrest.



    The Tunisian revolution that started in December 2010 forced the autocratic leader to flee the country about a month later. It sparked popular movements across much of the Middle East and North Africa in what soon became known as the "Arab Spring." Protesters in Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen and Libya have defied autocratic rulers and called for reforms.



    Wednesday's verdict in Tunisia came as its government blamed "extremist groups" for several days of rioting.



    The violence earlier this week, which was the worst since Ben Ali's departure, was apparently triggered by an art exhibit in Tunis that spelled out the name of God with a string of insects, outraging ultraconservative Salafist Muslims.



    The rioting in the Tunisian capital left one person dead and dozens wounded, and sparked clashes across the country.
    http://www.voanews.com/content/tunis...n/1210804.html
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    The MHoC welcomes this development as a sign that the Tunisian people are moving forward in a positive manner from the years of their oppression.
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    Qatar welcomes this move as it shows Tunisia dealing with the problem in hand and successfully moving on positively.
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    Australia applauds Tunisias advances since the Arab spring and views this as an excellent step towards true democracy, hopefully Tunisia will be able to set a precident for other Arab nations who still leg behind to follow suit.
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    Nepal commends Tunisia for its judicial approach to the sentencing of its former president. We condemn, however, Saudi Arabia's sheltering of this man. We also hope that Tunisia will return to peace after these recent riots.
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    Mali would like to praise Tunisia for its humane and decisive dealing with these developments, and hopes that such actions bring in a new age of co-prosperity between Tunisia and the African nations.
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    Argentina whole-heartedly welcomes this moves .
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    Tunisia thanks the countries praising it, and believes that in light of the threat of civil war in Egypt, we are by far the most stable of the Arab Spring countries.

    We once again ask the Saudi Arabia hand over this criminal to the Tunisian Government.
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    Iran believes this is a matter for the Tunisian people, and the world should respect their right to self determination.

    Indonesia is grateful for this expansion of democracy for the Tunisian people, and hopes the process continues to flourish.
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    OOC- When I saw this I was like "Finally something to do with Tunisia"
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    Georgia welcomes the decision of the Tunisian court and supports the country's road to democracy.

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Updated: June 25, 2012
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