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Human Rights Group Praises Capture Of Saddam Hussein, But Opposes Death Penalty - 2003-12-16

Reaction continues to come in regarding Saturday’s capture of Saddam Hussein. Namibia’s National Society for Human Rights calls the arrest of Mr. Hussein “a wake-up call for other powerful present and future dictators.”

Phil Ya Nangoloh is head of the human rights group. From Windhoek, he spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about the former Iraqi leader. He says, “We are pleased he’s been arrested because Saddam Hussein’s regime is guilty, in our opinion, of very serious human rights abuses. These include war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.”

Mr. Ya Nangoloh says, “Dictators and potential dictators must remember even if they are powerful at the moment there’s going to be a time when they find themselves in a weakest position that Saddam Hussein might have never imagined he’d find himself in.”

The head of the NSHR does not think the Iraqi judicial system can handle a trial of the former president without international jurist support. He would prefer using the International Criminal Court.

He also says the group is opposed to sentencing Saddam Hussein to death should he be found guilty. A death sentence, he says, could make Mr. Hussein a martyr.

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