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January 1, 2007

World reacts to execution of Saddam Hussein

World reacts to execution of Saddam Hussein

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Monday, January 1, 2007

Saddam Hussein
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Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein in July 2004

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The execution of Saddam Hussein elicited critical statements by governments from around the world and also by non-governmental organisations.

The United States, Australia, Iran and some Polish politicians saw positive effects of the execution. George W. Bush said it was a “milestone” on the way to a democratic Iraq. Also, many Iranian politicians think that the execution was a “victory for the Iraqi people”. The Polish foreign minister said he was an opponent of death penalty, but would make an exception in this case. Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer referred to the death of Saddam Hussein as an “important step” on the way towards a historical judgement of Hussein’s “tyrannous regime”. He thinks that it will lead to an opportunity to strengthen the process of reconciliation.

Other European countries were at odds with this response. These include the U.K., Finland, France, Switzerland, the Vatican and Germany, which stand for the worldwide abolition of the death penalty. The main reason given by them was that even incredibly heinous crimes do not justify execution. The Vatican’s spokesperson, Federico Lombardi, said that there was “the risk that it would incite people to seek revenge and produce more violence”. Germany’s minister of state in the Office for Foreign Affairs, Erler, said that Saddam Hussein’s crimes could not be doubted, but the German government would stay with its general attitude of rejecting death penalty.

Russia also expressed regret for the execution. An official of the Russian Office for Foreign Affairs, Michail Kamynin, warned against an intensification of the military and political situation in Iraq and against a rise of ethnical-confessional tensions. Libya ordered a three-day national mourning. Head of state Ghadhafi stopped all celebrations and ceremonies for the Eid al-Adha half-masting all flags on governmental buildings. The Palestinian foreign minister criticised the execution, too. There had often been disagreements, but nevertheless, the execution had been wrong, he said.

The organisation “Human Rights Watch” criticised the proceedings against Hussein as having “shown severe deficiencies”. The World Council of Churches expressed its critical attitude towards the execution of Saddam Hussein: “Every time a person’s life is taken it is part of a big tragedy.” Amnesty international very much criticised the proceedings: the execution was apparently a foregone conclusion. The appeal court had only created the impression of legitimacy in flawed proceedings, they said.

The Council of Europe condemned the execution and called on Iraq to abolish the death penalty.

Meanwhile, at 4:00 a.m. this morning local time (1:00 a.m. (GMT)), the former leader’s remains were buried in Awja, close to Tikrit, the home town of Hussein, as reported by CNN.

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December 31, 2005

Abducted German family freed in Yemen

Abducted German family freed in Yemen – Wikinews, the free news source

Abducted German family freed in Yemen

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Saturday, December 31, 2005

Jürgen Chrobog (1995)

Jürgen Chrobog, former state secretary in the German Foreign Office, his wife and their three sons have been freed, German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier confirmed at a press conference.

Steinmeier said the family was doing well. They were abducted on Wednesday in the east of the country while being on a tourism trip on the invitation of the Yemeni government. The captors were demanding the release of five tribesmen held by the government. The Yemeni defense minister was apparently the one who was able to negotiate the release.

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“Former German deputy foreign minister and family abducted in Yemen” — Wikinews, December 28, 2005

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December 28, 2005

Former German deputy foreign minister and family abducted in Yemen

Former German deputy foreign minister and family abducted in Yemen

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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Jürgen Chrobog (1995)

Jürgen Chrobog, former Secretary of State in the German Foreign Office, was abducted today in eastern Yemen, along with his wife, their three children, and three locals.

The family was travelling as part of a large group in the country when their vehicle went missing around 460 km east of the capital Sanaá. According the Yemeni interior ministry they were abducted by a tribal group.

Reuters named the captors as members of the Al-Abdullah tribe who told the news agency by phone that the life of the family is not in danger and that they are their “guests”. They are reportedly demanding that the Yemeni government release member of their tribe from prison.

A spokesperson for the German Foreign Office said it is unknown whether Chrobog was singled out or if it was just a coincidence that he and his family were taken.

Chrobog had been the German ambassador to the United States from 1994 till 2001 when he transferred to the Foreign Office, where he himself negotiated the release of Germans held abroad.

This incident is the fourth time this year that foreigners were abducted in the country to blackmail the Yemeni government.

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

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