By Felicity Arbuthnot
'There was no honour left; ruin and war and the blood was flowing ... Sadness, hate and the reign of arbitrary destruction.' - (Rachid Taha, Algerian Musician and lyricist, 1958-:)
Shocking details have emerged from an impeccable source (not named for obvious reasons) of the execution on Thursday 7th June, in Baghdad, of Abed Hamid Hamoud, President Saddam Hussein’s former personal secretary and aide.
Mr Hamoud, fourth on America’s 2003 asinine, juvenile playing card list of Iraq’s sovereign government, has been held in jail since June 2003, after being arrested by US occupying forces.
He was sentenced to death in October 2010 with former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tareq Aziz and former intelligence chief Sadoun Shakir, heightening fears for their imminent execution.
“What you have not heard” states the commentator: “is that (Mr Hamoud) was led to his execution whilst under the impression that he was going for a medical check up.
“The Iraqi government didn’t even notify his family or relatives or make arrangements with them to deliver his body.”
A chilling observation on America and Britain’s “New Iraq” is that the Maliki government is: “ … so intent on revenge that they have waved the formalities of telling a person they were taking him to his execution.”
Deep concern is expressed for the fate of both Tareq Aziz and Sadoun Shakir in the light of this appalling act. They were sentenced at the same Court hearing.
Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki’s Press Secretary stated earlier this year that they would execute Tareq Aziz: “ … and now they are done with the formalities, there is nothing to stop them.
“The world must know what these people have done and what I am sure they will do, God forbid, in the near future”, concludes our contact bleakly, pleading that pressure be brought to: “stop what they are planning to do” in the case of Tareq Aziz, Sadoun Shakir and many others.
Amnesty USA has called the number of execution in Iraq “alarming” pointing out that at least seventy people were executed already in the first half of this year.
In January thirty five people were executed in a single day a number UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay called: “terrifying”, adding: "Given the lack of transparency in court proceedings, major concerns about due process and fairness of trials, and the very wide range of offences for which the death penalty can be imposed in Iraq, it is a truly shocking figure.
"Most disturbingly, we do not have a single report of anyone on death row being pardoned, despite the fact there are well documented cases of confessions being extracted under duress"’ she said.
Amnesty’s statement reminds: “The death penalty, which is the ultimate denial of human rights, should never be used, whatever the gravity of the crime… the present Iraqi government should demonstrate a clear break with the past by following the global trend away from the death penalty.”
Iraq became signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, including the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
In February 2010 the UN Human Rights Council’s periodic review of Iraq, primary recommendations were that a moratorium on the death penalty was established with a view to abolishing it. Iraq’s comically named, near mute “Human Rights Minister”, was in attendance.
It should be added that since the Court system was entirely overhauled under the occupation of Iraq and designed to US dictat. Changing anything in a Constitution is illegal under occupation, thus, it could be argued legally that the whole set up is not alone inhuman but illegal.
Ironically, it was al Maliki’s Dawa Party who attempted to assassinate Tareq Aziz and Saddam Hussein in Dujail in 1982. He is clearly determined to ruthlessly eliminate those who are familiar with a long, murderous, destabilizing history. Legalities be damned.
Never the less, however it is dressed up, as the lynching of Saddam Hussein, these killings are now being done in the name of Britain and America, who wrought the “New Iraq.”
In the Second World War, the Nazi concentration camp guards told their prisoners they were going for a shower and took them to the gas chambers. In the US-UK modeled Iraq, a prisoner is told he is going for a medical checkup – and executed. Spot the difference.
Will they continue to stand silently by for as long as it takes – or will the largest US embassy on the planet, in Baghdad, rein in their puppet Prime Minister and regain at least some semblance of that which the USA is supposed to stand for?
- Felicity Arbuthnot is a journalist with special knowledge of Iraq. Author, with Nikki van der Gaag, of Baghdad in the Great City series for World Almanac books, she has also been Senior Researcher for two Award winning documentaries on Iraq, John Pilger's Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq and Denis Halliday Returns for RTE (Ireland.) She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.