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UN Execution Moratorium Call After Saddam Sentence

Iraq: UN rights chief calls for moratorium on executions after Saddam death sentence

The top United Nations human rights official has called on the Iraqi authorities to observe a moratorium on executions following the death sentence imposed on ousted president Saddam Hussein and other defendants yesterday, urging that their right to appeal be fully respected.

“A credible appeals process is an essential part of fair-trial guarantees,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said in a statement issued yesterday. “This is particularly important in this instance, in which the death penalty has been imposed.

“Those convicted today should have every opportunity to exhaust their appellate remedies in a fair way, and whatever the outcome of an appeal, I hope the Government will observe a moratorium on executions,” she added.

Ms. Arbour said guaranteeing the right to a fair trial of persons accused of major human rights violations was key to consolidating and strengthening the very important process of ensuring justice and countering impunity that Iraq had embarked upon.

ends

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