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Media Angry At Video Of Saddam Hanging

From the grieving reporters at Reuters:

[AFP caption:] An image grab from a mobile phone video appears to show Saddam Hussein’s head in the noose just prior to his execution in Baghdad early 30 December. The former Iraqi president was an avid reader, fed birds and told jokes while he was in US custody, an American military nurse who looked after him said in interviews with US media.

Saddam video inquiry promised

Tue Jan 2, 2007

By Claudia Parsons

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Hundreds of Sunni Arabs gathered to show their anger and grief for Saddam Hussein on Tuesday as the Iraqi government promised an investigation into illicitly filmed footage of Shi’ite officials taunting him on the gallows.

The sectarian passions that have pushed Iraq toward civil war could be further inflamed by the video of the execution, apparently shot on a mobile phone, showing people chanting the name of Shi’ite cleric and militia leader Moqtada al-Sadr…

Hailed by Washington as a milestone for Iraqi democracy, Saddam’s execution seems to have deepened sectarian divisions.

A leading member of the Sunni Arab’s largest parliamentary bloc said on Tuesday footage showing Shi’ite officials mocking Saddam as he was about to he hanged had damaged Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s attempts at national reconciliation.

"The big question now is how serious is the government in calling for national reconciliation. It now has to prove it," Saleem al-Jibouri of the Iraqi Accordance Front told Reuters.

Saddam’s grave in his native village, Awja, drew hundreds more mourners on Tuesday, as it has each day since he was buried in the dead of night early on Sunday.

Several hundred people marched through the northern city of Mosul carrying portraits of Saddam and banners proclaiming him a martyr and a hero. Sunni neighborhoods in Baghdad and other towns have seen similar demonstrations since Saturday.

The rapid execution, just four days after the failure of an appeal, boosted Maliki’s fragile authority among his fractious Shi’ite supporters but angered many Sunnis. The timing, on the first day of the Eid al-Adha holiday, has caused particular outrage, along with the video.

An aide to the prime minister said the government was investigating how people filmed and taunted Saddam on the gallows, turning his execution into a televised spectacle.

Khudayer al-Khuzai, deputizing for the justice minister who was abroad, said it appeared some guards violated instructions not to bring mobile phones or cameras.

"The Iraqi government is going to have an investigation into what happened," he said. "This operation should be done with the highest standards of discipline and with respect for the condemned man, both when he’s alive and once he’s dead.

"Anything that did not meet those standards should be accounted for." …

The nerve of someone actually documenting this event — and then sharing the video with the public at large.

No wonder our media is up in arms.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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