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Last Updated: Sunday, 5 November 2006, 13:30 GMT
Saddam verdict: Voices from Iraq
Images from Iraq

Saddam Hussein has been found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging. Speaking to BBC Arabic.com, Iraqis living in the country give their reaction to the former leader's sentence.

MOHAMMED MAHER, 27, COMPUTER PROGRAMMER, AL ANBAR PROVINCE

Mohammed Maher
Mohammed Maher: I don't think the situation in Iraq will stabilise
The verdict is unfair - Saddam has not committed any of the crimes that he has been accused of.

The events are not as they were portrayed and, in fact, Saddam was fighting armed militias in the north of Iraq and fighting the Islamic Dawa party in the south of Iraq.

I feel shocked at the decision to hang Saddam - I had expected the charge to be a life sentence.

The whole trial process has been unfair. And the proof of this is that the verdict has been delivered two days before the mid-term elections in the US - in which George Bush's Republican Party is struggling against fierce competition

I don't think the situation in Iraq will stabilise after this verdict. The decision to execute Saddam is like pouring petrol onto the fire. I think that rivers of blood will flow through the country.

There are many supporters of Saddam in the Al Anbar and Salahuddin provinces - and so the insurgency will actually escalate after these latest events.

MOHAMMED SAADI, 34, CIVIL SERVANT, BAGHDAD

I congratulate myself and the Iraqi people after delivering the verdict to hang Saddam.

And I had hoped all his associates will meet the same fate.

The verdict sparked celebration in Baghdad but protests in Tikrit

It is noticeable that most people have stayed indoors to follow the verdict being delivered on television or the radio.

The verdict is what I expected. And Saddam and those around him deserve this end for the crimes they committed against the Iraqi people.

I believe the trial has been fair - and the proof of this is that judge found one of the defendants, Mohammed Azawi Ali, not guilty because of lack of evidence and ordered his release.

Unfortunately, I don't expect the situation on Iraq to be calm after this verdict. Saddam has many supporters and spread across many different parts of the country.

But there is a feeling of joy among members of my immediate family, and in my home at the outcome of the trial.

FAIZ AHMAD, 31, STUDENT, BASRA

Faiz Ahmad
Faiz Ahmad: The groups who supported Saddam will attempt revenge
I am overwhelmed by a mixture of feelings - joy and anxiety, caution and surprise.

I am relieved to see the end of the dictator and the painful memories of his rule - right up to his angry and provocative appearance in court.

However, I feel cautious and anxious because of the expected reaction from terrorist groups who wished to see Saddam returned to power.

The court's verdict should not be taken lightly. The armed groups who supported Saddam will attempt to avenge themselves on the Iraqi people and push for the destruction of the country.

I don't believe that Saddam's trial and that of his associates was 100 per cent fair because of the intervention by the Iraqi government in appointing judges and forcing some of them to resign.

Nevertheless, I believe the trial is acceptable because it allowed Saddam and his associates to defend themselves before the court. This is a right that was denied to people of Iraq when they were in power.

I am also surprised that the verdict was reached today as I had thought that the trial would persist forever and there would be no resolution.

I am talking to you from my house in Basra and I may say there is a general feeling of relief that the era of dictatorship is over - though this is mixed with fear of the future.

ZAID, 34, UNIVERSITY LECTURER, BAGHDAD

Emotionally, I feel this is the right result and sentence. Rationally, I cannot judge.

I don't know if it was a fair trial; the performance of the defence in court wasn't that good.

Within Iraqi standards of justice, yes it was fair. But I think those standards are lower than the international standards of human rights.

When the trial began I was happy to see Saddam being tried in court in Iraq. But now, with hindsight, I think it would have been better to try him abroad.

I don't think Saddam was worried about the verdict. I believe he used the court to send messages and restore his image as the mighty Saddam. I think he succeeded in that aim.

The current political project is not going well, so Iraqis are comparing their situation now with what it was under Saddam.

He is not responsible for the mess we are in now; the current leadership is to blame for that.

I have to say, my situation was better under Saddam than it is today.




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