28.11.06

UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Reiterates Concerns Regarding President Saddam Hussein's Trial


UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Reiterates Concerns Regarding President Saddam Hussein's Trial

The Working Group deems it necessary to issue this statement at this time, since it cannot be excluded that the death penalty imposed upon Mr. Hussein would be carried out before the Opinion is published in its annual report to the Human Rights Council.

The Working Group was seized by a communication on behalf of Mr. Hussein, in which complaints about his allegedly unlawful detention had been put forward, whereupon the Working Group delivered two Opinions on this case.

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In this context the Working Group invited the Governments of Iraq and the United States to consider whether a trial of the former Head of State in conformity with international standards is at all possible under the current conditions in Iraq, or whether the case should rather be referred to an international tribunal.

The Working Group clarified in its Opinion that it does not request the release of Mr. Hussein. What it recommends to the two Governments is that the serious procedural shortcomings are redressed and that the situation of Mr. Hussein be brought in conformity with the principles of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and with the provisions of the ICCPR.

The Working Group also urges the Iraqi Government to refrain from carrying out the sentence of death by hanging imposed in a proceeding, which does not meet applicable basic standards of a fair trial.

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