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Iraqi PM threatens to 'reconsider relations' with countries criticizing Saddam hanging

[JURIST] Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Saturday his government might have to review relations with countries that criticized Saddam Hussein's execution [JURIST report], calling last Friday's hanging a domestic affair. In a speech in Baghdad celebrating the anniversary of the founding of the Iraqi army, he said, according to Iraq's independent VOI news agency:

[T]he Iraqi government views reactions shown by some countries and governments as an act of incitement, sedition, flagrant interference in Iraq's affairs and an insult to the feelings of Iraqi families...The Iraqi government may have to reconsider its relations with any country that does not respect the Iraqi people's will based on joint interests and reciprocity...

We consider the execution of the dictator (Saddam) as an internal affair that has to do exclusively with the Iraqi people, and consequently we reject and condemn all acts and statements made by some governments, whether officially or through the mass media...We are really amazed about statements made by some governments lamenting the death of Saddam on the pretext that his execution took place on a holy day although these governments know quite well that Saddam had profaned all sanctities throughout 35 years...Where were these organizations when crimes against humanity, mass graves, executions and massacres that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and people of neighboring countries were rampant in Iraq?
VOI has local coverage.

Hussein's execution has prompted criticism from rights groups and world leaders [JURIST reports], both for its imposition of the death penalty and the circumstances surrounding Hussein's trial and hanging. President Bush told reporters at the White House Thursday that the hanging, which took place amidst taunts from guards and witnesses, could have been "more dignified" [JURIST report]. The Vatican and the British government in a statement by UK Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott have also condemned the handling [JURIST report] of Hussein's execution. Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said Tuesday that he would push the United Nations [JURIST report] to adopt a universal ban on the death penalty after the hanging. Reuters has more.

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