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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 December 2006, 18:51 GMT
Arab reaction to Saddam execution
Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has been hanged. His sentence was carried out for the killings of 148 Shias in Dujail in the 1980s following a failed assassination attempt.

People from Iraq and the wider region talk to the BBC about their reaction to the news of his death.

These accounts were translated from Arabic by Redouan Ahmimed of BBCArabic.com.

SA'AD HASHIM, 34, NASSYRIA, IRAQ

The execution of Saddam was an unavoidable necessity. My feelings are mixed: I am neither happy nor sad because the execution itself will not change anything.

However, I think there is a wide sense of relief among Iraqis that justice has at last been delivered.

I believe there will be no retaliatory acts despite all the reported security and military measures taken by the Iraqi government. The situation will not be worse than it is now.

Regarding the impact of Saddam's execution upon Arab public opinion, the problem is that Arabs tend to view Saddam as the longed-for nationalist hero of the Arab nation.

Arabs view things only from an ideological perspective. I hope the execution of Saddam will help end this state of affairs.

SHEELAN TALIBANI, 34, KURD CURRENTLY RESIDING IN THE UK

Sheelan Lab
Filming his execution and airing it is inhuman

Although I am Kurdish, I do not approve of Saddam Hussein's execution in this way.

Filming his execution and airing it is inhuman. There is no difference between those who are behind his execution and those who kill hostages and air the images.

Punishments and revenge are not important. What is important is hearing the truth about other cases, such as in Halabja and the crimes committed by Mohammed Amza Zubeidi. Despite my deep sympathy with the victims of Dujail, these other slaughters are as significant.

By executing Saddam in this way, the United States wanted to say that she has achieved a symbolic victory after it had failed to achieve a real victory.

I don't believe the situation in Iraq will change by executing Saddam. At the beginning, the scale of violence might increase but people will forget very quickly.

Some regimes may now contemplate their positions following the execution of Saddam. Many leaders are like him - the only difference was that he was given the opportunity to commit the crimes he did.

ALI AL HAIDARI, 38, DUJAIL, IRAQ

I am extremely happy that Saddam Hussein has been executed - not out of revenge but for the sake of delivering justice.

I was a witness for the prosecution in the Dujail trial and so I feel that I have contributed to the delivery of justice.

To those who argue that Saddam is a human being and an old man - what about the rights of his victims?

The execution of Saddam is, in itself, a protection of human rights.

For me, the case is closed now as I was able to fulfil my promise to the martyrs killed by Saddam. As a people, Iraqis don't know revenge.

Regarding Arab peoples, they know quite well that Saddam was a dictator. We may witness some demonstrations but they will be very limited in scope as they don't reflect the main trends of the Arab public opinion.

ABDEL RAHMAN OMAR SAMEER, 24, EGYPT

Abdel Rahman
The execution of Saddam will not help improve things at all.

I am very sad at the execution of Saddam Hussein at the hands of the Americans - despite all his wrongdoings.

It is true that Arabs are suffering terribly at the hands of their rulers. But the Americans have not come to Iraq to spread justice and democracy - but rather to serve their own interests.

Arabs and Muslims should remember that the execution of Saddam is not just the execution of a single person but rather the execution of an Arab and Muslim exemplary figure.

The execution of Saddam will not help improve things at all. There is strong probability that this will make matters worse.

Arab people may feel sad but this feeling will be a short-lived one. I don't think the end of Saddam will stir things up.

I had hoped that the execution would have upheld the position of those advocating reforms and democracy in the Arab countries. But the Arabs have a short memory.

MOHAMMED MAHDI ALI, 35, IRAQI RESIDING IN LONDON

Mohammed Mahdi Ali
A victory of the oppressed people of Iraq

Like any Iraqi who has been subjected to oppression, deprivation and killing, I feel the execution of Saddam is a victory for the will of the oppressed people of Iraq.

The execution of Saddam is a fulfilment of the wishes of honest and patriotic Iraqis.

Saddam has condemned hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to death and destroyed Iraq.

Saddam should not have received a fair trial in the first place because he denied thousands of Iraqis killed by his regime the opportunity to defend themselves.

I expect serious negative repercussions for Iraq as the supporters of Saddam will resort to indiscriminate killing.

However, the execution will be the beginning of the end for his suppoerters who pretend to be devout Muslims and freedom fighters.

The fate met by Saddam Hussein will help Arab public opinion rid itself of the illusion that he was an Arab nationalist leader.

The problem is that most Arabs are emotional and don't think realistically. I believe the execution of Saddam will shock them. I expect demonstrations and marches in some Arab countries.

I support the execution as he was a tyrant and destroyed the lives of many people.

AHMED WIT WIT, 27, IRAQ

Ahmed Wit Wit
It is an indescribable feeling of joy

I burst into tears when I heard the news. It is an indescribable feeling of joy. The execution of Saddam will be a beautiful memory and a message to those like him.

It is a just ending, albeit too late in coming. I will carry my bag that was worn out by long travels and return to my country.

I was a sad lonely man living with my remaining papers in my drawer. I was waiting for this day so that I could return to my county like a bird who fly freely.

The end of Saddam will have a positive impact on the political and social life in Iraq as well as security situation and democracy.

His execution will put an end to the acts of killing, violence and the widespread administrative corruption.

The current government should resume the reconstruction efforts and bring security to Iraq.

The execution will deprive the Iraqi government of excuses for poor performance.

The Arab homeland notion is a big lie coined by Arab rulers to deceive Arab people. Such nationalistic notions will die with the execution of the biggest liar.

The end of Saddam is the beginning of an end to similar governments in the Arab world.

MOHAMED MAHMOUD, 22, EGYPT

Mohammed Mahmoud
He was responsible for the destruction of his country

My feelings are mixed, ranging from sympathy to relief following the news that Saddam has been executed.

I may have sympathy for him as a human being, but I am more inclined to develop a sense of relief, as he deserved what happened to him.

He was president of Iraq, responsible for the destruction of his country and the invasion of Kuwait.

This is the end of every oppressor. He not only inflicted oppression and injustice and brought poverty to Iraqi people but to the entire Arab nation as he squandered the resources of an Arab country.

I believe Saddam supporters are responsible for some acts of violence perpetrated in Iraq in revenge for what happened to him. However, the majority of Iraqis will have a sense of relief at his execution.

For Arabs, some people may sympathise with him as he is an old man executed by the occupation. The problem is that the occupation has participated in his trial.

I expect Saddam's fate will serve to encourage reformists and advocates of democracy in Arab countries.

SAFAA AL AYACHI, 29, BAGHDAD

Safaa al Ayachi
Saddam unleashed criminals upon Iraqis
The execution of Saddam Hussein is a way to restore the dignity of his victims.

This man has launched three wars, and killed at least a million Iraqis including scholars, researchers and students. He killed them only from suspicion.

Though he ruled one of the richest countries in the world, he impoverished his own people.

Saddam unleashed a band of criminals to inflict pain upon Iraqis. Now we have started putting our feet on the right path towards justice.

Some Iraqis feared that Saddam may escape from his prison or that he may make a deal with the Americans. Many Iraqis used to believe that he is the only one capable of bringing security to the country.

I believe the scale of violence will considerably decrease. Arabs, leaders and politicians should learn from this important, significant lesson and put the interests of their people above anything else. The execution of Saddam will strengthen the will of Arab people for democracy, change and reform.


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