The recent indictment of former President Donald Trump and 18 others in Fulton County, Georgia, raises concerns as it brings to light a disturbing tradition seen in totalitarian regimes throughout history – the practice of mass trials against political opposition. It is worth noting that such trials, characterized by limited rights for defendants, have been observed in various countries.
An example of such a trial occurred in Cuba, where the communist regime held a mass trial for 21 protesters and dissidents, including children and individuals with mental health issues, who had participated in a protest against communism. In a similar vein, Turkey saw nearly 500 people being sentenced to life in prison as a result of their alleged involvement in a coup attempt. The Egyptian courts also convicted 170 supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi on charges related to violent attacks. Additionally, South Africa’s infamous Treason Trial in 1956 witnessed the apartheid regime trying 156 defendants for opposing racial discrimination policies.
In light of these historical precedents, the Georgia indictment becomes a part of this worrisome trend as it groups 19 defendants together for trial. Nonetheless, it is crucial to note that the U.S. legal system operates on different principles, affording defendants more extensive rights and protections.