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Iraq authorities begin lifting Saddam verdict curfew

[JURIST] Iraqi authorities Monday began the delicate process of lifting the curfew [JURIST report] imposed in Baghdad and two other provinces over the weekend in anticipation of possible violence following Sunday's announcement of the Dujail trial verdict against ousted Iraqi president Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive]. Civilians are now allowed to go into the streets, but a traffic ban in the capital will remain until Tuesday. There were some incidents of gunfire reported Sunday after the death sentence against Hussein was handed down, and three people were reported wounded at a Shiite rally in a Baghdad district but no large-scale demonstrations have yet materialized. In towns surrounding Baghdad [AP report], however, hundreds of Shiites turned out to march in celebration of the verdict, while hundreds of Sunnis rallied to protest it. Some 250 Sunni marchers in Baqouba were dispersed by police Monday for breaking the curfew; local reports claim that two people were killed and three wounded [VOI report] when security forces moved in. BBC News has more.

Hussein and two co-defendants were convicted and sentenced to death by hanging [AP recorded video] for crimes against humanity [charging instrument, PDF] committed in the Iraqi town of Dujail [JURIST news archive; BBC trial timeline]. Hussein was charged [JURIST report] with killing, torturing and illegally detaining Dujail residents, including 148 Shiites [JURIST report], after an unsuccessful attempt on his life there in 1982.

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