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UN Rights Group: First Saddam Trial Flawed


U.N. human rights experts say the first trial in Iraq of former leader Saddam Hussein was flawed and his death sentence should not be carried out.

The U.N. Human Rights Council's working group on arbitrary detention says Saddam's trial for the 1982 killings of Shi'ite villagers in Dujail fell short of international standards. It says the proceedings did not meet the basic standards for a fair trial so the verdict should not be carried out.

Saddam is currently on trial for a second time. He is facing charges of crimes against humanity in connection with a military campaign against ethnic Kurds in the late 1980s. The prosecution says some 180,000 people, mostly civilians, were killed during the offensive known as "Operation Anfal."

On Monday, a young Kurdish man testified that Iraqi forces lined up dozens of Kurds by a trench and then opened fire. He said he watched as his mother and sisters were killed, but that he survived and was able to escape.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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