Saif al-Islam, the son of former Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has been sentenced to death in absentia along with eight former Gaddafi aides. He was sentenced after being found guilty of committing war crimes during the 2011 Libyan revolution.
Al-Islam is currently being held by a former rebel group in Zintan, a town in Libya, and was not permitted to leave to attend the trial, which took place in Tripoli. He communicated with the court via live video.
Al-Islam and the eight other former statesmen were sentenced to death by firing squad after. The war crimes he was found guilty of relate specifically to the suppression of demonstrators during the 2011 Libyan uprising.
During the uprising, Al-Islam’s father Muammar Gaddafi was killed by rebel groups after having ruled the country for over four decades. Gruesome footage of the incident was widely circulated on social media.
Among the nine men sentenced were Abdallah al-Senousi, Gaddafi’s former chief of intelligence.
In the wake of the 2011 Arab Revolutions, many former Arab leaders faced trials for crimes committed both during and before the uprisings. On June 2 2012, an Egyptian court sentenced former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to life imprisonment. Egypt’s Court of Cassation however overturned this verdict in January 2013. In the retrial, Mubarak and his sons were convicted of corruption on May 9 2015.
Former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was sentenced to death in June 2015 after being convicted of participating in the Wadi al-Natrun prison break during the 2011 revolution. The prison was known for incarcerating Islamists and other political prisoners.