A coup d’etat leads to the overthrow of a government. If it fails like in Turkey, the perpetrators are charged with treason. If it succeeds, the perpetrators become revolutionaries and heroes. Hence, coup d’etats are historical accidents. They are celebrated only if luck is on the side of the perpetrators.
One would have thought that those who come to power through coup d’etat would be the most tolerant of political dissent and dissidence.
The exercise of the prerogative of mercy last year during the July 22 anniversary gave the impression that the coup makers of 1994 have finally come to understand that those who come to power through coup should not show vengeance against political dissidents but should show magnanimity as they would have expected if they failed in their venture.
It is an irony that while the nation poised to celebrate a coup d’etat, those accused of holding processions to display their grievances without any attempt to incite violence to overthrow a state are now languishing in jail.
There is need to remedy this irony of history. This is the dictate of justice and common sense.