An opportunity missed

Compare and contrast:

President George W Bush:

Today Saddam Hussein was executed after receiving a fair trial - the kind of justice he denied the victims of his brutal regime.

Amnesty International:

Amnesty International has condemned the Iraqi Appeal Court's decision on 26 December 2006 to confirm the death sentences on Saddam Hussein and two of his co-accused in the al-Dujail trial and said the court should have ordered a re-trial. The organization said it opposed the death penalty in all circumstances but it was especially egregious when this ultimate punishment is imposed after an unfair trial.

The trial of Saddam Hussein and his seven co-accused before the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal (SICT) was deeply flawed and unfair, due to political interference which undermined the independence of the court and other serious failings," sad Malcolm Smart, Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa programme. "The Appeals Court should have addressed these deficiencies and ordered a fair re-trial, not simply confirmed the sentences as if all was satisfactory at the trial stage.

It was absolutely right that Saddam Hussein should be held to account for the massive violations of human rights committed by his regime, but justice requires a fair process and this, sadly, was far from that, "said Malcolm Smart."The trial should have been a landmark in the establishment of the rule of law in Iraq after the decades of Saddam Hussein's tyranny. It was an opportunity missed.

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. I believe the world is a better place without Saddam. I also believe that the absence of the death penalty as a legal punishment is a mark of a civilised country.

    Letting Saddam live would have sent a huge message to the world that 'we' (in the form of the Western-sponsored government in Iraq) are better than the previous regime. The UK government say they argued forcefully for Saddam not to be executed. I'm not sure that I believe them.

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