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Vatican, UK deputy PM deplore manner of Saddam hanging

[JURIST] Spokesmen for European governments Tuesday publicly deplored the way the execution of Saddam Hussein [JURIST report] was conducted, adding criticism of the process revealed by an unofficial video [WARNING: graphic images] - and the making of the video itself with a camera phone [JURIST report] - to their previous criticism [JURIST report] of the application of the death penalty in the case. The official Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano [media website] said that "making a spectacle" of the hanging had turned it into "an expression of political hubris" and that the media attention to the execution was "another example of the violation of the most basic rights of man," according to an AP translation. AP has more.

Meanwhile UK Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott also condemned the handling of Saddam's execution in a BBC interview [audio] Tuesday. Prescott said:

I think the manner [of the execution] was quite deplorable really. Frankly, to get this kind of recorded messages coming out is totally unacceptable and I think whoever is involved and responsible for it should be ashamed of themselves.
The execution video, which shows Saddam being taunted on the gallows, has elicited anger among Sunnis in Iraq [JURIST report] and has prompted an investigation [JURIST report] by the Iraqi government. BBC News has more.

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