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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 December 2006, 15:44 GMT
Saddam hanged: Reaction in quotes
Saddam Hussein during his trial

Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has been executed by hanging in Baghdad.

He and two co-defendants were sentenced to death by an Iraqi court in November after a trial over the 1982 killings of 148 Shias in the town of Dujail.

Leaders in Iraq and beyond, as well as representatives of non-governmental organisations, have been giving their reactions.

IRAQI PRIME MINISTER NOURI MALIKI

"O dear Iraqi people, you who have put up with the hardship for years and suffered from the injustice of tyrants and dictators throughout the era of the hateful dictatorship.

"Your generous and pure land has got rid - and for ever - of the filth of the dictator and a black page of Iraq's history has been turned and the tyrant has died."

IRAQI OIL MINISTER HUSSEIN SHAHRISTANI

"This is the day that the Iraqis have been waiting for. There are tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of families who have lost their dear ones.

"They have been waiting for justice to be executed, and I think that Iraqis have received the news that they've been waiting for too many years."

IRAQI SUNNI POLITICIAN, KHALAF AL-ULAYYAN

"The execution of Saddam Hussein is a big crime. Saddam Hussain was a prisoner of war and was arrested by the US forces, and not by the Iraqi government. It is a crime with which they wanted to cover up many things."

ABU MOHAMMAD, SPOKESMAN FOR SADDAM'S HUSSEIN'S OUTLAWED BAATH PARTY

"The Baath Party and the resistance, who are the comrades of Abu Uday [Saddam Hussein] declare before the whole world that this ugly crime against the Iraqi leader and people will not go unpunished.

"The price of this will be very costly for the criminal occupier, its aides, and lowly spies."

EX-MEMBER OF IRAQI INTERIM GOVERNMENT, ADNAN PACHACHI

"I don't think it will make much difference because the situation has deteriorated to such an extent that very drastic measures have to be taken to confront the militias and restore law and order.

"Of course, he has some supporters in Iraq - some of them are armed and they may commit acts of violence and so on - but I don't think it will make much difference, frankly."

IRAQI KURDISH POLITICIAN MAHMOUD OSMAN

"Of course, Saddam has committed too many crimes. He deserves for those crimes capital punishment. But so quickly done, so quickly executed... and only in one case - it would leave the other cases and leave a lot of secrets without being known."

SYRIAN CABINET MINISTER BOUTHAINA SHABAN

"I think there is a large moral responsibility in doing it on such a holy holiday [Muslim festival of Eid-al-Adha] whether Christian or Muslim, there are moral things that one should do, and nobody is convinced that this is an implementation of justice...

"I think it's going to inflame the conflict between Sunnis and Shias and I think there are also thousands of crimes that were committed in Iraq against the Iraqi people. I hope that other people who are responsible for these crimes can be brought to justice as well."

ISMAIL RADWAN, SPOKESMAN FOR PALESTINIAN MILITANT GROUP HAMAS

"We consider the execution of President Saddam Hussein on this day by the American administration as a representation of the killing of the Arab regime which does not say 'No' to the American administration. And from this perspective we are surprised by the Arab silence, especially that of the formal regimes, about this act of the United States against the sons of the Iraqi people.

HAMID REZA ASEFI, IRANIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER

"I believe that in the long run, after the Baathist minority accept that Saddam no longer exists and that they cannot count on him anymore, the situation will improve.

"However, the Americans should also wish to change the situation, and should not try to take advantage of the insecurity in Iraq to further their own interests."

US PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH

"Today Saddam Hussein was executed after receiving a fair trial - the kind of justice he denied the victims of his brutal regime.

"Saddam Hussein's execution comes at the end of a difficult year for the Iraqi people and for our troops. Bringing [him] to justice will not end the violence in Iraq, but it is an important milestone on Iraq's course to becoming a democracy that can govern, sustain, and defend itself, and be an ally in the war on terror.

"Many difficult choices and further sacrifices lie ahead. Yet the safety and security of the American people require that we not relent in ensuring that Iraq's young democracy continues to progress."

UK FOREIGN SECRETARY MARGARET BECKETT

In a statement on behalf of the UK government:

"I welcome the fact that Saddam Hussein has been tried by an Iraqi court for at least some of the appalling crimes he committed against the Iraqi people. He has now been held to account.

"The British government does not support the use of the death penalty, in Iraq or anywhere else. We advocate an end to the death penalty worldwide, regardless of the individual or the crime.

"We have made our position very clear to the Iraqi authorities, but we respect their decision as that of a sovereign nation."

MIKHAIL KAMYNINRUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN

"Regrettably, the numerous appeals to the Iraqi authorities by representatives of various states and international organisations to refrain from capital punishment have been left unheeded.

"We are convinced that in this situation, the political consequences of this step also have to be taken into account, all the more so because the issue of the former president's fate is a very sensitive one for Iraqi society."

LIAQUAT BALUCH, MMA RELIGIOUS ALLIANCE, PAKISTAN

"We have no sympathy with Saddam Hussein, but we will also say that he did not get justice.

"The execution of Saddam Hussein will further destabilize Iraq. There will be more sectarian violence in Iraq, and we believe that the execution of Saddam Hussein is part of the American plan to disintegrate Iraq."

JOHN HOWARD, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER

"The real significance is that this man has been given a proper trial, due process was followed. It was an appeal that's been dismissed and he has been dealt with in accordance with the law of Iraq.

"And I believe that there is something quite heroic about a country that is going through the pain and the suffering that Iraq is going through, it still extends due process to somebody who was a tyrant and brutal suppressor and murderer of his people.

"That's the mark of a country that's trying against fearful odds to embrace democracy and it's a country that deserves sympathy and support - not to be abandoned."

FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTRY

"France calls upon all Iraqis to look towards the future and work towards reconciliation and national unity. Now more than ever, the objective should be a return to full sovereignty and stability in Iraq."

"France, which like the rest of its European partners advocates the universal abolition of capital punishment, notes the execution of Saddam Hussein on Saturday."

"That decision was made by the people and the sovereign authorities of Iraq."

MALAYSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SYED HAMID ALBAR

"The international community is not in favour of the hanging and questions the due process that took place."

"We are surprised that they went ahead notwithstanding. I think there will be repercussions.

"The only thing is we hope they will be able to contain this. Because the conflict is not going to end. This is not the answer."

ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER ROMANO PRODI

"Italy is against the death penalty and so even in such a dramatic case as Saddam Hussein, we still think that the death penalty must not be put into action."

FATHER FEDERICO LOMBARDI, VATICAN SPOKESMAN

"A capital punishment is always tragic news, a reason for sadness, even if it deals with a person who was guilty of grave crimes...

"The killing of the guilty party is not the way to reconstruct justice and reconcile society. On the contrary, there is a risk that it will feed a spirit of vendetta and sow new violence.

"In these dark times for the Iraqi people, one can only hope that all responsible parties truly make every effort so that glimmers of reconciliation and peace can be found in such a dramatic situation."

GEORGE GALLOWAY, ANTI-WAR BRITISH MP

"He has been killed, but I believe he will be more dangerous to the forces of the occupiers and their allies after his death than when he was alive.

"I believe a wave of attacks will be carried out against those allied with the occupation."

LIBYA

Libyan state media describes Saddam Hussein as a "prisoner of war" and declares three days of national mourning over his execution.

RICHARD DICKER, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

"Saddam Hussein was responsible for massive human rights violations, but that can't justify giving him the death penalty, which is a cruel and inhuman punishment...

"The test of a government's commitment to human rights is measured by the way it treats its worst offenders...

"It defies imagination that the Appeals Chamber could have thoroughly reviewed the 300-page judgment and the defence's written arguments in less than three weeks' time... The appeals process appears even more flawed than the trial...

"History will judge the deeply flawed Dujail trial and this execution harshly."

LOUISE ARBOUR, UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

"All sections of Iraqi society, as well as the wider international community, have an interest in ensuring that a death sentence provided for in Iraqi law is only imposed following a trial and appeal process that is, and is legitimately seen as, fair, credible and impartial.

"That is especially so in a case as exceptional as this one."




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