국제앰네스티는 이라크 바그다드 법원에서 사형 선고를 받은 이라크 전 외무부 장관 타리크 아지즈(Tariq Aziz)와 두 명의 전 공무원에 대한 사형을 집행하지 말 것을 요청했다.
타리크 아지즈, 사둔 샤키르(Sadoun Shakir) 전 내무부 장관, 아베드 하모우드(Abed Hamoud) 전 사담 후세인 개인비서는 야당 활동가들을 살해한 죄로 이라크 최고 항소법원(Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal; SICT)에서 사형선고를 받았다. 이 셋은 모두 혐의를 부인하고 있다.
국제앰네스티 중동•북아프리카국 말콤 스마트(Malcolm Smart)국장은 “사담 후세인의 독재는 사형과 고문 이외의 수많은 인권침해와 동일시 될 수 있으며 이들이 정의의 심판 앞에 서게 된 것은 올바른 일이다”라면서도 “그러나 인권에 대한 궁극적인 부정인 사형은 죄목의 심각함에 상관없이 사라져야 한다”고 밝히며 “수백 명의 사형수를 양산한 것으로 알려진 사형제도 폐지를 향한 한 걸음이 될 수 있는 중요한 시기”라고 말했다.
타리크 아지즈는 2003년 이라크 침공 뒤 검거되었다. 국제앰네스티는 사담 후세인 독재 시절의 범죄자들에게 죄를 묻기 위해 만들어진 이라크 최고 항소법원의 재판에 대하여 법원의 독립성에 관한 우려를 지속적으로 표해왔다.
FORMER SADDAM HUSSAIN OFFICIALS FACE DEATH PENALTY
25 October 2010Amnesty International today called on the Iraqi authorities not to execute former Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz and two other former officials sentenced to death by a Baghdad court.
Tariq Aziz, Sadoun Shakir, a former Interior Minister under Saddam Hussain, and Abed Hamoud, the executed former dictator’s private secretary, were convicted by the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal (SICT) of participating in the killings of opposition activists. All three deny the accusations.
“Saddam Hussain’s rule was synonymous with executions, torture and other gross human rights violations, and it is right that those who committed crimes are brought to justice,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“However, it is vital that the death penalty, which is the ultimate denial of human rights, should never be used, whatever the gravity of the crime.”
“It is also high time the Iraqi government turned the page on this grim cycle and one step towards this would be to end all executions and commute the sentences of all those on death row, believed to number several hundred.”
Tariq Aziz has been imprisoned since soon after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. He is elderly and reported to be in poor health.
He was sentenced to a 15 year prison term by the SICT in 2009 for his alleged involvement in the executions of 42 merchants by Saddam Hussain’s government in 1992.
Amnesty International has repeatedly expressed concern about trials conducted before the SICT, which has a mandate to prosecute those accused of crimes committed under Saddam Hussain and whose independence as a court of law has been put into question by repeated political interference.
“Internationally recognised fair trial standards are essential and political pressures must not be allowed to influence the proceedings on any charges, but particularly those that may result in the death penalty,” said Malcolm Smart.
If the death sentences against the three, including Tariq Aziz, are upheld by the tribunal’s Appeals Chamber, they could be executed within 30 days.
The death penalty was suspended after the US-led invasion in 2003 but restored in August 2004. Since then, hundreds of people have been sentenced to death and many have been executed.