Thursday, December 28, 2006

Der Spiegel: "Hundreds of Iraqis Apply to be Hangman"

I just hope they execute him quickly. One of the problems in Iraq is that a dictator with a major personality cult holds many of his subjects under his spell to the ardently-to-be-wished-for bitter end.
An Iraqi judge has rejected Saddam Hussein's appeal and ruled that the former dictator must hang within 30 days. The execution may be controversial, but hundreds of Iraqis want to pull the gallows lever.

Saddam in court last August. An appeals court on Tuesday upheld a ruling that the former dictator should hang for crimes against humanity.

Saddam in court last August. An appeals court on Tuesday upheld a ruling that the former dictator should hang for crimes against humanity.

The death penalty against Saddam Hussein has survived an appeal in Iraq's highest court and a judge has ordered that the former dictator to be executed within 30 days. The verdict and the trial have met with criticism around the world, but in Iraq hundreds of people have applied for the job of hangman.

"From tomorrow, any day could be the day of implementation," the chief judge said on Tuesday. Saddam was convicted in early November for his role in the execution of 148 Shiite Muslims from the small northern town of Dujail, after a 1982 assassination attempt.

Saddam's half brother and intelligence chief, Barzan al-Tikriti, will also hang, and so will a former senior revolutionary court judge involved in the executions. There is no official job of "hangman" in Iraq, and an adviser to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki says the government has not officially advertised for the job. The executioner, moreover, will remain anonymous because Saddam's execution could inflame tensions in a country where people die every day in sectarian violence.

But hundreds of Iraqis have inquired about the hangman's job. The adviser, Bassam al-Husseiny, told the US network ABC News that he received about eight to 10 phone calls a day -- and 20 to 30 e-mails -- by Iraqis who wanted to execute Saddam. The candidates came from all three of the country's major religions and from all walks of life, he said -- from high-level government officials to "the tea boy." [...]
In the meantime, however, the UN, the world's premier support group for dictators, is trying to come to the rescue: UN Human Rights Commissioner: Wait with Saddam execution
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour called on Iraqi authorities to act with restraint in regards to the implementation of ousted tyrant Saddam Hussein's death sentence.

"There were a number of concerns as to the fairness of the original trial, and there needs to be assurance that these issues have been comprehensively addressed. I call therefore on the Iraqi authorities not to act precipitately," Arbour said.
It's now a three-way race to Dictator Heaven. Saddam is currently in the lead, but don't count out Castro or the Ayatollah just yet.

No comments: