Friday, January 05, 2007

Against the Executions in Iraq

The execution of Saddam Hussein turned into a horrible spectacle that did not reflect well on the authorities that carried it out.

It would have been far better if one had listened to the European and other voices that had called for his sentence to have been changed to life time imprisonment.

Let's at the least hope that the Iraqi government is now ready to listen to this appeal just issued by the Presidency of the European Union:

The Iraqi Government intends to execute Barzan Ibrahim Al-Tikriti, formerly head of one of the intelligence services, and Awad Hamed Al-Bandar, formerly president of the Revolutionary Court. The Presidency recalls the longstanding position of the EU with regard to the death penalty. The EU opposes capital punishment under all circumstances.

Both, Mr Al-Tikriti and Mr Al-Bandar, were high-ranking representatives of Saddam Hussein?s regime, which had brutally oppressed its own population for decades. Thousands of innocent people were killed and tortured, many disappeared.

Iraqis deserve a better future. To this end, it will be crucial to bring together all parts of Iraqi society irrespective of ethnicity or religious affiliation. Ensuring accountability for the crimes committed during the former regime can assist in furthering national reconciliation and dialogue in Iraq. The Presidency recalls that in order to achieve this important aim the prosecution of those crimes must adhere to the requirements of a fair process.