DePaul University’s Cherif Bassiouni discusses what’s next for Arab Spring

January 11, 2012

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(AP/Hasan Jamali)
Cherif Bassiouni, head of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, speaks to the media in Manama, Bahrain.

This past November, DePaul University professor Cherif Bassiouni had the unusual task of sitting down with the King of Bahrain to tell him about injustices that were carried out in his country, on his watch. The conversation was part of Cherif's job, as chair of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry.

In a display of his commitment to reform, Bahrain's King Hamad had established this commission after violent clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters caught the world's attention last year. Tasked with investigating all sides of the multi-dimensional conflict, Cherif Bassiouni ultimately released a 500 page report. It confirmed some uncomfortable truths for the regime: that protestors had been killed, that Bahraini protesters were fired from their jobs and detained without full legal rights, and that torture was systematic during the uprising.

Worldview talks to Cherif Bassiouni, president emeritus of DePaul's International Human Rights Law Institute, about his work in Bahrain. He also shares his thoughts on the Arab world's transformative year.