2-14-11: Transitional Justice in Egypt
The world has been transfixed for the past three weeks by a simple, powerful story in Egypt: a tenacious, people-powered revolt that drove an autocrat out of office after 30 years.
Things are about to get a lot more complicated. Egypt faces many challenges. To start with, there’s getting the economy back up and running, reconstituting Parliament, adapting its constitution, and holding free and fair elections.
One thing that can get lost in that puzzle is justice. According to Human Rights Watch, the United Nations Committee Against Torture confirmed that torture in Egypt was “systematic.” As Egypt figures out the details of a democratic future, how will it deal with the legacy of human rights abuses during the three-decade Mubarak regime?
Transitional justice is the specialty of our guest this morning, UMBC assistant professor Brian Grodsky. In his book, The Costs of Justice: Understanding How New Leaders Choose to Respond to Previous Rights Abuses, he examined democratic transitions in eastern Europe and the Balkans. We’ll find out what he makes of Egypt’s immediate future.
We’ll also speak with WYPR’s own Sunni Khalid, who served as NPR’s Cairo bureau chief in the mid-1990s.