IRAQI FOREIGN MINISTER DEFENDS EXECUTIONS
January 23, 2007: following talks with his Italian counterpart, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari defended the execution of Saddam Hussein and other former Iraqi officials, which prompted Italy to lead a push for a worldwide moratorium against the death penalty.
âIraq is going through extraordinary and exceptional circumstancesâ Zebari said. âWe are looking forward to aboloshing the death penalty in IraqâŚ but we need a strong deterrent to stop people from killing indiscriminatelyâ.
Saddamâs Dec. 30 execution was denounced across Italyâs political spectrum, with Berlusconi calling the killing a political error and Prodi expressing concern that the hanging would fuel more violence in Iraq.
The gruesome and inadvertent decapitation of Saddamâs half brother when he was hanged two weeks later horrified many worldwide. After Saddamâs execution, Prodiâs center-left-government began a diplomatic push to have a worldwide moratorium against the death penalty adopted by the UN General Assembly. (Sources: AP, 240/01/2007)