After the carrot, the stick

02 February 2003 :

The Iraqi government abolished several penalties from its statute books, including Decree 115 of 1994 stipulating ear amputation for army deserters and Decree No 313 of 1984 imposing capital punishment for anyone convicted of smuggling foreign currency. (Sources: Al-Iraq Web Site, Baghdad via BBC Monitoring International Reports, 02/02/2003)
February 11, 2003: a report by Iraqi Communist Party newspaper Tariq al-Sha´b said that shortly after the announcement of the pretended "general amnesty" for "all" prisoners and the abolishment of several penalties from its statute books, the higher authorities in the Iraqi regime had issued a series of new decrees, including new offences that carry the death penalty. These instructions were issued by the military bureau of the ruling Ba´th party and signed by the Iraqi leader´s son Qusay Hussein. The new capital offences concern the Air Defence Force personnel and prescribe the death penalty for members of the Air Defence Force units, who: leave their unit when it is under bombardment; cause damage to missile-launching bases; cause damage of ground-air missiles; upon whom pamphlets, dropped by US planes on military units, are found; cause damage to power sources, which provide electricity to radar stations and missile-launching bases; reveal secrets and information on casualties to people outside their unit; spread rumours within their unit. The instructions regarding the new offences which carry the death penalty stipulate the establishment of special committees at the Air Defence Force units, which are in deployment, to define the charges against an accused person with a view to pronouncing the heaviest sentence, the report said. (Sources: Tariq al-Sha´b via BBC Monitoring Middle East, 12/02/2003)
The death of Abu Nidal
August 26, 2002: a report by the Herald Sun newspaper claimed that exiled Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal did not commit suicide as believed, but was executed by Iraqi president Saddam Hussein´s secret police for refusing to train al-Qaeda fighters, Iraqi dissidents said. Their claims were supported by journalist and author Con Coughlin, a Middle East expert, who wrote that Abu Nidal had been executed for refusing to reactivate his terrorist networks. Abu Nidal, born Sabri al-Banna, was the most feared terrorist leader in the world for two decades. He was 65 when he died in a government-supplied flat in the Iraqi capital Baghdad from gunshot wounds. (Sources: Herald Sun, 26/08/2002)