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African Human Rights Group Condemns Beheading Of US Civilian In Iraq - 2004-05-13

An African human rights group is condemning this week?s beheading of an American civilian in Iraq. The Namibian National Society for Human Rights calls the killing ?one of the most barbaric and heinous crimes in modern humankind.? It?s blamed on a group called Muntada Al-Ansar.

Phil Ya Nangoloh is head of the human rights group. From Windhoek, he spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about the death of Nicholas Berg.

?Totally grossed out, totally grossed out. These people, the perpetrators, can simply not have sympathy of any person in the world. I don?t believe they should have any sympathy whatsoever.?

Mr. Ya Nangoloh believes the group that carried out the beheading has ties to Osama Bin Laden. As for those who claim the murder was in retaliation for the treatment of Iraqi prisoners by the US military, he responds, ?We totally reject that with the contempt it deserves.? When asked about the Iraqi prisoner scandal, Mr. Ya Nangoloh replies, ?The atrocities against the Iraqi prisoners must be condemned and they have been condemned. The American government officials condemned that themselves. Besides that, the American people through their congress called American officials to testify. This was done right in front of everyone. That?s a goodness of democracy.?

The Namibian human rights activist says the United Nations must get involved in Iraq to help solve the problems there. He also says Iraq should be a secular country to prevent any persecution or discrimination of Muslins, Christians or those who don?t believe in religion at all.

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