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Saddam on fifth day of new hunger strike

[JURIST] The US military revealed Wednesday that Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] and three of his co-defendants are five days into a hunger strike in protest of trial court procedures and the killings of three of their defense lawyers, which they believe occurred because of inadequate security provided by US forces. Defense lawyer Khalil al-Dulaimi, who claims the hunger strike has actually lasted seven days, added that he was "very concerned" about whether Hussein's health would deteriorate. The trial currently stands adjourned [JURIST report] until July 24 in hopes that al-Dulaimi and his colleagues will end their latest boycott [JURIST report] of the proceeding, based in part on the same security concerns.

Armed gunmen abducted and killed Hussein defense lawyer Khamis al-Obeidi [JURIST report] last month, just two days after the prosecution presented its closing arguments in the trial, calling for the death penalty [JURIST report] for Hussein and four of his co-defendants. Saddam went on a brief hunger strike [JURIST report] shortly afterwards. He and his seven co-defendants face crimes against humanity charges [JURIST report] of killing, torturing and illegally detaining Dujail residents, as well as committing other inhumane acts in response to an alleged 1982 assassination attempt on Hussein. Reuters has more.

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