Human Rights Watch warns fair trial at risk in Saddam's case




 
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Human Rights Watch warns fair trial at risk in Saddam's case
 
October 16th, 2005  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: Human Rights Watch warns fair trial at risk in Saddam's case


Human Rights Watch warns fair trial at risk in Saddam's case
NEW YORK, Oct 16 (AFP) - An international human rights group warned Sunday
that the court established to try former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and
his associates runs the risk of violating international standards for fair
trials.

Saddam Hussein and seven other former Iraqi officials go on trial Wednesday
for crimes that took place in the town of al-Dujail in 1982.

Government security forces allegedly killed more than 140 individuals from
al-Dujail in retaliation for an assassination attempt on Saddam Hussein as
his motorcade passed through the town located north of Baghdad.

But Human Rights Watch said in a briefing paper that problems with the
tribunal and its statute include the absence of any requirement to prove
guilt beyond reasonable doubt as well as inadequate protections for the
accused.

Also threatening the integrity of the process were disputes among Iraqi
political factions over control of the court and requirements that prohibit
commutation of death sentences by any Iraqi official and compel execution of
the defendant within 30 days of a final judgment, the group said.

"The trials of former Iraqi government officials will be closely watched
inside Iraq and throughout the world," said Richard Dicker, director of
Human Rights Watchs International Justice Program. "The proceedings must be
fair and be seen to be fair, and that means ensuring that the accused can
vigorously defend themselves."