Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam Dead

Saddam has been executed. I will not shed any tears . I will though state my concern at the trial and an execution that will likely turn him into a martyr, which is one of the reasons I do not a support the death penalty .

Before Sham goes off on one, I'm not defending Saddam. He was guilty of crimes against humanity, the trial though was flawed . It was at times farcical and there was intimidation of witnesses, judges and lawyers on both sides. It needed to be above criticism and unfortunately it was not. The ongoing trial should have been completed and the many other cases of crimes should have been brought into the legal process . This may of course have thrown light on the role of the West in supporting his regime when it suited.

I also accept he received a legal process that his victims never did, but surely a post Saddam Iraq should have had a trial beyond reproach. The old saying justice needs to be seen to be done is important and never more so in the case of a murderous dictator who is then exectuted. Similarly as when the abuses in Abu Gharib came to light, to say ahh it was worse under Saddam is not good enough. Nor is it good enough to state how evil he was or accuse those who call for due process apologists for him.

Call me a liberal (well actually don't!) but the rule of law is important. Richard Dicker from Human Rights Watch sums up my views on this :

"The test of a government's commitment to human rights is measured by the way it treats its worst offenders.
"History will judge the deeply flawed Dujail trial and this execution harshly."