HIGH COMMISSIONER RENEWS CALL
FOR RESTRAINT IN IRAQ
3 January 2007
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, today renewed her call for restraint by the Government of Iraq in the execution of sentences of death imposed by the Iraqi High Tribunal.
On 28 December 2006, alongside the confirmation of the death sentence of Saddam Hussein, the death sentences of two other co-defendants, Awad Hamad Al-Bandar and Barzan Ibrahim Al-Hassan, were also upheld on appeal. “International law, as it currently stands, only allows the imposition of the death penalty as an exceptional measure within rigorous legal constraints. The concerns that I expressed just days ago with respect to the fairness and impartiality of Saddam Hussein’s trial apply also to these two defendants”, the High Commissioner said. “I have therefore today directly appealed to the President of the Republic of Iraq to refrain from carrying out these sentences.”
The High Commissioner also noted that under Iraq’s international obligations, it is bound to afford Awad Hamad Al-Bandar and Barzan Ibrahim Al-Hassan the opportunity to seek commutation or pardon of the sentence.