[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Tue Jan 9 01:59:54 UTC 2007
Critics press Baghdad to delay executions of Saddam allies
Pressure mounted Monday on Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to halt the
executions of two of Saddam Hussein's henchmen amid growing international
criticism over the way the ousted dictator was hanged.
With former secret-police chief Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti and
ex-Revolutionary Court chief Awad Ahmad al-Bandar expected to be hanged
within days, New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the executions
would further highlight "the Iraqi government's disturbing disregard for
human rights and the rule of law."
"The execution of these 2, however heinous the crimes involved, is cruel
and inhuman punishment that will only drag a deeply flawed process into
even greater disrepute," said HRW director Richard Dicker.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon over the weekend pressed Iraq to suspend the
executions of Barzan, Saddam's half-brother, and Bandar, who were found
guilty along with the deposed leader of executing 148 Shiite civilians
from Dujail, north of Baghdad, in the 1980s.
Their executions have been postponed several times amid the growing global
But Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told the BBC's Arabic
service Sunday that the 2 could be executed in two days and powerful
Shiite politician Abdel-Aziz al-Hakim on Monday called for the hangings to
be carried out swiftly.
"We demand in the name of the Iraqi people that the prime minister and the
government accelerate the carrying out of the execution of those criminals
who have been sentenced," said Hakim, who heads the Supreme Council of
Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the main Shiite party in the Iraqi government.
Saddam's December 30 hanging sparked outrage after the leak of an
unofficial, grisly cellphone video of his execution showing a guard,
believed to be a Shiite, taunting the former dictator moments before his
A number of world leaders criticized the hanging, saying it appeared more
like a sectarian lynching than a court-directed punishment.
The strongest criticism came from Egyptian President Hos-ni Mubarak, who
said that the execution had made of Saddam a "martyr."
Kuwaiti MPs called on their government Monday to sever diplomatic ties and
stop aid to Arab countries that criticized the execution, strongly
condemning Libya, which announced a three-day mourning period, and Yemen.
Maliki on Saturday lashed out at his critics, threatening to "review"
relations with countries that criticized the bungled execution and arguing
that the hanging was an internal matter.
Human Rights Watch said Maliki's rejection of criticism over the hanging
was reminiscent of the former regime itself which grossly violated human
Saddam and his cousin Ali Hassan al-Majeed - known as "Chemical Ali" -
discussed killing thousands with chemical weapons before unleashing them
on Kurds in 1988, according to tapes played on Monday in a trial of former
9 days after Saddam's hanging, his front-row seat in the dock was
conspicuously empty, but Majeed and 5 other Baath Party officials remain
on trial for their roles in the 1988 Anfal campaign in northern Iraq.
Prosecutors did not explain who ordered the recordings or when or why they
were made and court officials could not elaborate. Audio tapes have been
introduced in the court before and Saddam is believed to have recorded
some of his meetings.
Prosecutors said that eome 180,000 people were killed, many of them
Majeed, who faces charges of genocide, is considered the main enforcer of
the Anfal campaign. The gassing of 5,000 people in the town of Halabja is
the subject of a separate case.
Looking tired and sporting an uncharacteristic white stubble, often a sign
of mourning, Majeed refused to take his chair and insisted on reciting a
prayer as he stood behind Saddam's empty chair.
(source: Daily Star)
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