Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was executed yesterday after being convicted of crimes against humanity. It shows how the US-sponsored justice system in Iraq is extremely fast. We could only wish the same is true in the Philippines especially in the cases of the late dictator Marcos, ousted President Estrada, and the Arroyo regime.
Around 800 political killings have been recorded in the Philippines, and the current administration could not even be made responsible for failing to prevent such crimes. Of course, Arroyo cannot be impeached because she controls the House of Representatives, and her administration is very “careful” in dealing with the Marcos and Estrada cases. Maybe the families of the victims must wait until 2010. That is, if Arroyo’s maneuvers to stay in power will not succeed.
Meanwhile, human-rights group Amnesty International said Saddam’s rushed execution is “simply wrong.”
” It signifies justice denied for countless victims who endured unspeakable suffering during his regime, and now have been denied their right to see justice served. It is a failed opportunity to establish the rule of law in Iraq, and raises concerns that egregious flaws during Hussein’s trial proceedings will now set a strong precedent against a fair and independent judiciary. It will doubtless have a devastating impact on other related trials, as the key witness who could most compellingly shed light on the chain of command will have been silenced. Finally, Amnesty International opposes the death penalty, regardless of method, in all cases, and regards it as the ultimate, irreversible human rights abuse, ” Larry Cox, Executive Director of Amnesty International, was quoted as saying by Aljazeera.com.
The United Nations opposed the death penalty against Hussein, saying his trial violated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Upon hearing the new of the execution, UN’s senior envoy to Iraq reiterated UN’s opposition to capital punishment.
“The United Nations stands firmly against impunity, and understands the desire for justice felt by the many Iraqis,” UN Special Representative Ashraf Qazi said through a spokesman.
“Based on the principle of respect for the right to life, however, the United Nations remains opposed to capital punishment, even in the case of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide,” he added.