|Why Saddam Hussein should not hang|
December 29, 2006 01:13 AM
RICHARD DICKER DIRECTOR OF THE INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE PROGRAM AT HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
"The Iraqi government should not implement the death sentence against Saddam Hussein, which was imposed after a deeply flawed trial for crimes against humanity. The Appeals Chamber of the Iraqi High Tribunal, which was first reported by Iraq’s national security adviser to have upheld the sentence, should have conducted a thorough legal review of the verdict and then announced its findings. Imposing the death penalty, indefensible in any case, is especiallywrong after such unfair proceedings. That a judicial decision was first announced by Iraq’s national security advisor underlines the political interference that marred Saddam Hussein’s trial."
UN COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS LOUISE ARBOUR
” The appeal judgment is a lengthy and complex decision that requires careful study. There were a number of concerns as to the fairness of the original trial, and there needs to be assurance that these issues have been comprehensively addressed. I call, therefore, on the Iraqi authorities not to act precipitately in seeking to execute the sentence in these cases."
"We are against the death penalty as a matter of principle, but particularly in this case because it comes after a flawed trial."
CARDINAL RENATO MARTINO, POPE BENEDICT XVI'S TOP PRELATE FOR JUSTICE ISSUES, FORMER VATICAN ENVOY TO UN
"Saddam's execution would punish a crime with another crime. The death penalty is not a natural death. And no one can give death, not even the State."
ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER ROMANO PRODI
"While I don't want to minimize the crimes committed by Saddam Hussein, and the ferocity with which he governed during his regime, and while respecting the autonomy and legitimacy of Iraqi institutions, I must express the Italian government's, and my personal, firm opposition to the death sentence."
EUROPEAN UNION PRESIDENT ERKKI TUOMIOJA
"The EU opposes capital punishment in all cases and under all circumstances, and it should not be carried out in this case either."
EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT HOSNI MUBARAK
"Carrying out this verdict will explode violence like waterfalls in Iraq. The verdict will transform (Iraq) into pools of blood and lead to a deepening of the sectarian and ethnic conflicts."
COMMENT IN PAN ARAB AL-QUDS AL-ARABI
"He will go to the gallows with his head held high because he built a strong, united and non-sectarian Iraq. We urge honourable people such as [President Jalal] Talabani and [Prime Minister Nouri] Maliki and all those who practised all sorts of deceits against the people of Iraq to apologise and face the national courts of Iraq on charges of participating and legalising the killing of 665,000 and wounding five-fold this number. We also call for their prosecution for igniting the fire of civil war, sectarianism and ethnic cleansing."
EDITORIAL IN PAN ARAB AL-QUDS AL-ARABI
US officials are making a new mistake more dangerous than any in the past. They think executing Iraqi President Saddam Hussein will lead to calm in Iraq, but the exact opposite is likely to happen. The US Administration may gain more by keeping Saddam alive behind bars and using him as a bargaining card... to negotiate with the Baath party for the sake of calm.
EDITORIAL IN PAN ARAB AL-ARAB AL-ALAMIYAH
"We urge parties, organisations, national and Islamic figures and official bodies in Arab countries to engage in a public, political and human rights action against the Maliki government's adventure - supported by the US and Iran - to execute Saddam. This is a political execution which will lead to violence. It is in the interests of the occupation and its agents, and Iran and its allies, for Saddam not to be executed, and for the crisis to be solved through serious dialogue."
TARIQ MASARWAH IN JORDAN'S AL-RA'Y
"The US, UK and the ruling parties have so far not been able to provide Iraqis with a better Iraq than Saddam's! He remains a symbol for the failure of the occupation and its project."
TIMES OF INDIA
One of the main criticisms of the trial was that the special court was not equipped to handle such a complex case. Questions have also been raised about timely disclosure of evidence, the rights of defendants to confront witnesses and impartiality of the judges. New Delhi has rightly condemned the trial as lacking credibility. It has also raised the issue of the effect of the death sentence on Iraq's future. There is good reason to believe that executing Saddam can only worsen the situation in Iraq. The memory of Saddam as a martyr is likely to have much more of a hold on popular imagination than a Saddam behind bars.
The confirmation yesterday of the death sentence against Saddam Hussein is the final act in a legal charade directed from Washington. The Iraqi Appeal Court upheld the verdict against Hussein and two of his co-accused—Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti and Awad Hamed al-Bandar—brought on November 5 for the execution of 148 Shiites from the town of Dujail in 1982. With the only avenue of appeal exhausted, all three can be hanged at any time within the next 30 days. White House spokesman Scott Stanzel hailed the court decision, declaring it to be "an important milestone" in efforts "to replace the rule of a tyrant with the rule of law." In fact, the Bush administration has repeatedly demonstrated its contempt for basic legal norms, riding roughshod over international and US law. It has pressed for the execution of Hussein as a means of demonstrating to the world that it is capable of killing its opponents with impunity.
"The Iraqi Government should have spared Saddam the death penalty."