On January 14, 2011, Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali declared a state of emergency and stepped down amid nationwide protests. The protests were precipitated by economic strife and corruption accusations against the 23 year Tunisian leader. They began on December 17, 2010 after Mohamed Bouazizi, a fruit vendor whose cart had been seized for the lack of a permit, lit himself on fire outside the governor's office. In June 2011, Ali was tried and convicted in absentia on numerous charges related to corruption. On January 3, 2012, a military tribunal began trying Ali for his alleged orders to shoot protestors. Mass protests in the Middle East have also led to the end of the regimes of both Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and longtime Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi.
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Learn more about Tunisia from the JURIST news archive and read commentary on the Arab Spring from JURIST Guest Columnist Kevin Govern in Forum. You can also read comprehensive coverage on the Libyan Conflict in Features.