Monday, November 20, 2006

Human Rights Watch tries to save Saddam from justice

Human Rights Watch is trying to save Saddam Hussein from the hangman.

It thinks the prosecution of the Iraqi former dictator was "unfair" and that excecuting Saddam would be "indefensible."

"The proceedings in the Dujail trial were fundamentally unfair," says Nehal Bhuta, author of a new, 97-page Human Rights Watch report that rips into the prosecution.

"The tribunal squandered an important opportunity to deliver credible justice to the people of Iraq. And its imposition of the death penalty after an unfair trial is indefensible," Bhuta says.

Human Rights Watch is giving its report lots of publicity. While covering itself by saying it has always argued for Saddam to be put on trial, the group is contriving reasons not to execute him. Among the excuses:

1. "The trial failed to meet basic fair trial standards in its first trial."

2. Iraqis are incapable of trying former regime officials on its own: "Unless the Iraqi government allows experienced international judges and lawyers to participate directly, it's unlikely the court can fairly conduct other trials."

3. If Saddam is executed for the relatively few crimes of which he stands convicted, he won't be able to stand trial "for genocide against the Kurds."

4. Executing Saddam Hussein "while other [years-long] trials are ongoing will also deprive many thousands of victims of their day in court."

And oh, yes, there's a fifth excuse: "Human Rights Watch opposes the death penalty as inherently inhumane punishment. . . ."

On its website, Human Rights Watch says the Iraqi "court should overturn verdict [and] death penalty."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The tile of this post indicates a lack of understanding on the writer's part of the intent of the Human Rights Watch, and a further general lack of understanding of human rights and its relationship to capital punishment. My question in response to this article is 'do you believe two wrongs make a right? And if so, what kind of right and for whom? Thanks for listening.

1:31 PM  
Blogger JMW said...

Dear Save Saddam,

Two wrongs do not make a right. Executing a mass murderer is not a "wrong." Sic semper tyrannis.

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is interesting that you say execution is not wrong. I really appreciate your comment because it has made me think, maybe this isn't about right or wrong, in a way it is more than that, isn't it? It is about ''how can we break the pattern of reacting violently when someone commits atrocities?'' How is killing Saddam going to solve anything? The energy that is being poured into his exceution, which no doubt will be glamourised and celebrated in the future, could be put into finding out why people do these things in the first place and resolving the core problem not the secondary problems caused by being reactionary. I would like to think that we have evolved as humans and can deal with problems and conflicts in less violent and more effective ways in the hope of building a better future for people. So the issue for me is about doing something different, doing something less barbaric and from a place of love in the hope that positive energy will prevail. Putting bad and evil behaviour to bed, once and for all.

5:37 PM  
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10:46 PM  

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