Stark Raving Rulers is a series of profiles of twenty of the world’s most ruthless dictators.
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In many forgotten or ignored parts of the world, there are still men who have inherited entire countries from their families, or blatantly rig elections to stay in power. Like latter-day Roman Emperors, they rule according to their whim.
- Uzbekistan, where political opponents are boiled to death.
- Cameroon, where the President intervenes in the national football team selection.
- Belarus, where rather than divorce his wife, the President had her arrested.
- North Korea, where Kim Il-sung is still President – despite the fact that he’s been dead for ten years.
- Mauritania, where slavery is still widely practised.
- Equatorial Guinea, where the President claims to be in permanent contact with God.
- Turkmenistan, where the President re-named Tuesday after his mother.
- Libya, where Colonel al-Qadhafi threw five million dollars out the window of his car.
All of them are fascinating characters. While they all share a ruthlessness, their personalities differ wildly: from the coldly messianic to the downright bizarre.