[Marxism] The Execution of the President
lifesunquietdream at msn.com
Sat Dec 30 05:46:49 MST 2006
The execution of the President
Statement by Abdul Ilah Albayaty, Ian Douglas, Hana Albayaty, Dirk
Adriaensens, Inge Van De Merlen
December 30, 2006
The execution of President Saddam Hussein would be a grave war crime
imputable under international law
The US-orchestrated tribunal that sentenced President Saddam Hussein has no
The imminent execution of Iraqs lawful president is testimony to the
gutting of international law by the Bush administration and its criminal
President Saddam Hussein is a prisoner of war with protected status under
international law.[i] Further, he is the lawful president of the Republic of
Iraq. He cannot be executed legally by the US occupation.
Under the Interim Constitution of Iraq of 1990 which remains in force
despite the illegal imposition of a permanent Iraqi constitution written by
the United States President Saddam Hussein, like heads of state worldwide,
including in the US and Europe, is afforded sovereign immunity to
That the US invaded Iraq illegally and established an illegal political
process and a quisling Iraqi government only exacerbates the violation of
President Saddam Husseins personal and sovereign rights and the affront to
the whole of Iraq. His imminent execution is an attempt to establish, de
facto, a global state of exception to law. Force cannot make just what law
The US-led invasion of the Republic of Iraq was illegal and cannot be made
legal by the execution of Iraqs lawful president. The occupation is illegal
and cannot survive by authoring new atrocities.
This mockery of law
The Iraqi Higher Criminal Court that passed a death sentence on President
Saddam Hussein is a farce. Not only is it grounded on illegality (occupying
powers under international law are expressly prohibited from changing the
judicial structures of occupied states[iii]); the trial itself stands
distinguished in legal history by its sheer number of due process and
international standard of fairness violations.[iv]
These violations have included, often with systematic effect: American
imposed censorship of court proceedings; withholding evidence from the
defence; forcible ejection from court of defence lawyers and the placing of
defence lawyers under house arrest; denial of defence counsel access to
defendants; blatant lack of impartiality of court judges; overt political
interference in the selection of court officials and the prejudicing of the
trial and trial outcome by statements made by invested political figures
including George W Bush affirming progress towards, or demanding,
execution; the replacement of four of the five originally selected court
judges; lack of equality of arms between the prosecution and the defence;
refusals to accept key defence submissions, especially motions challenging
the competence and legality of the court; violations of key fair trial
principles and standards and international humanitarian law[v]; violation of
Iraqi law[vi]; intimidation of witnesses; failure to ensure the security of
the defence leading to the murder of three defence lawyers.
Created by Paul Bremer, the Iraqi Higher Criminal Court was never anything
but a US-orchestrated puppet court.[vii] The imposition of a death sentence
after an unfair trial stands in direct violation of international law.[viii]
The truth about this court
>From day one, this court has been nothing but a smokescreen: an attempt to
establish a veneer of legality to an illegal invasion of a sovereign state.
>From day one, the final conclusion the illegal execution of Iraqs lawful
president has been a fait accompli. The only question has been when.
As 2006 ends, the United States is desperate. Defeated militarily on the
ground, long defeated politically and morally, the occupation is preparing
to open the year 2007 with a barrage of atrocities, including the open
murder of Iraqs lawful president. This, like all other US-authored
atrocities in Iraq, will not allow the US and its criminal partners to
impose on Iraq a future that is contrary to the fundamental interests of the
The imminent execution of President Saddam Hussein is a challenge to the
world. Its occurrence would mark a watershed in the imposition by force of a
global state of exception to law and to international standards of justice
and due process.
States are obliged to protect international law and oppose acts that
undermine it.[ix] International law is the arbiter and final guarantor of
world peace. When states cannot or fail to act to protect it, or when they
act resolutely to destroy it, it is the duty of citizens everywhere to
oppose global tyranny by direct action.
Urgent action demands
We demand that legal institutions worldwide, governmental and
non-governmental, act now to prevent the illegal execution of President
We demand that all states and the United Nations speak up immediately and
oppose and prevent the illegal execution of President Saddam Hussein.
We demand an immediate meeting of the UN Security Council in which must be
affirmed the legal basis governing international relations and in particular
the fundamental jus cogens norms of international humanitarian law.
We call upon the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to defend its
November 2006 conclusion that the detention of President Saddam Hussein is
illegal and act to prevent his illegal execution.
We invoke the mandate afforded to the UN Special Rapporteur on
Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Execution to intervene to prevent the
illegal execution of President Saddam Hussein.
We call upon the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and
Lawyers to defend his March 2006 conclusion that the Iraqi Higher Criminal
Court is questionable, has limited competence and has given rise to serious
breaches of international human rights principles and standards. We call
upon the rapporteur to intervene to prevent the illegal execution of
President Saddam Hussein a further insult to justice.
We demand that the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights personally intervene
to prevent this grave war crime from occurring. No one in authority can
claim ignorance as to its imminence.
We affirm that international law is the bequest of generations and an
expression of the development of human civilization and that people
worldwide, individually and in groups, have a stake in protecting it, and
the world peace that depends on it.
We call upon citizens and individuals everywhere to stand up in defence of
international law and Iraqi sovereignty and act to prevent the execution of
Iraqs legal president.
The execution of Saddam Hussein would not only be a war crime against one
individual and state. It would lend an illusion of legality to illegal acts
both the execution of a lawful president and the invasion and destruction
of Iraq. It would be nothing less than a declaration of the death of
international law, slain by this criminal Bush administration and its
If the execution of President Saddam Hussein will not lead to an
international or global war, it sows the seeds, in its overt illegality, and
in conjunction with Washingtons exclusion of international law from
international relations, for precisely this outcome.
Abdul Ilah Albayaty (BRussells Tribunal Advisory Committee)
Ian Douglas (BRussells Tribunal Advisory Committee)
Hana Albayaty (BRussells Tribunal Executive Committee)
Dirk Adriaensens (BRussells Tribunal Executive Committee)
Inge Van De Merlen (BRussells Tribunal Executive Committee)
[i] In January 2004 the US government officially recognized President Saddam
Husseins prisoner of war status. See Article 3 The Hague IV Regulations,
1907: "The armed forces of the belligerent parties may consist of combatants
and non-combatants. In the case of capture by the enemy, both have a right
to be treated as prisoners of war." The Third Geneva Convention Relative to
the Treatment of Prisoners of War, 1949, provides for the human rights to
security of person, privacy, respect, humane treatment, and fair trial.
Under international law, no special arrangements can be constituted that
adversely affect the rights of persons. See Article 7 of The Fourth Geneva
Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in the Time of
[ii] See Article 40 of the Interim Constitution of Iraq (1990).
[iii] See Articles 43 and 55 of The Hague IV Regulations on Laws and Customs
of War on Land, 1907; Articles 54 and 64 of The Fourth Geneva Convention
Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in the Time of War, 1949.
[iv] For a full account of the illegality of the Iraqi Higher Criminal Court
and the violations of international fair trial principles and standards
witnessed during its proceedings see Iraqi Special Tribunal: A Corruption of
Justice by Ramsey Clark and Curtis Doebbler (13 September 2006).
[v] Articles 70 and 65 of The Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the
Protection of Civilian Persons in the Time of War, 1949; Article 14 of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Article 14 of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights requires that courts be
established under preexisting law.
[vi] The Iraqi Higher Criminal Court is inconsistent with Iraqi law because
it violates basic principles of international human rights law that are
binding on Iraqi authorities according to Article 44 of the Interim
Constitution of Iraq of 1990. Further, the court was formed in violation of
processes set forth in Section IV, Articles 60 and 61 of the Interim
Constitution and the Iraqi Law on Judicial Organization, the latter
illegally annulled by Coalition Provisional Authority Order No 15 of 23 June
[vii] That the occupying power, through the Coalition Provisional Authority,
created the Iraqi Higher Criminal Court (formerly the Iraqi Special
Tribunal) is established by the fact that Order No 48, containing the
statute of the court, had to be signed by Coalition Provisional Authority
Administrator L Paul Bremer before it could enter into force.
[viii] See Article 6, paragraph 2, of the International Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights that prohibits imposition of the death penalty when it
does not apply "in accordance with the law in force at the time of the
commission of the crime." The retroactive application of the death penalty
violates the Iraqi Penal Code, which states in Article 1: "no act or
omission shall be penalized except in accordance with a legislative
provision under which the said act or omission is regarded as a criminal
offense at the time of its occurrence." This arbitrary application of the
death penalty is also a violation of the right to life in Article 6 of the
International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights. See also Articles 2, 4
and 5 of the UN Safeguards Guaranteeing Protection of the Rights of Those
Facing the Death Penalty.
[ix] Article 42(2) of the United Nations International Law Commissions
Draft Articles on State Responsibility, representing the rule of customary
international law, prevents states from benefiting from their own illegal
acts: "No State shall recognize as lawful a situation created by a serious
" (emphasis added); Section III(e), UN General Assembly Resolution
36/103 of 14 December 1962, "Declaration on the Inadmissibility of
Intervention and Interference in the Internal Affairs of States".
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