[News] Release Saddam say Jordan lawyers

News at freedomarchives.org News at freedomarchives.org
Thu Jan 15 20:39:59 EST 2004

Release Saddam say Jordan lawyers
by Ahmed Janabi
Thursday 15 January 2004 5:22 PM GMT

The Jordan Bar Association (JBA) is demanding former Iraqi leader Saddam 
Hussein be released from detention and that US and UK occupiers face war 
crimes charges.

In a Wednesday letter to the Geneva-based International Committee of the 
Red Cross (ICRC), the JBA said the invasion of Iraq without UN approval put 
the US and UK on the wrong side of international law.

"The officials of the invasion forces, regardless of rank, are considered 
war criminals and their crime is considered an act of international 
terrorism," said the letter calling for them to be tracked down, arrested 
and tried.

"It is the right and duty of the Iraqi forces, people and leader to resist 
and arrest the invasion forces, and their actions would be considered 
legitimate and embody a legitimate defence of self and country."

"It is up to all countries to work together to resist the international 
terrorism carried out by the United States, Britain and their followers," 
the lawyers' letter said.

Hussein Mjalli Chairman of the Jordan Bar Association told Aljazeera.net 
that he has completed legal procedures required to defend Saddam Hussein.

"President Saddam's two daughters have been living in Jordan for months, 
and we have got their formal authorisation to defend their father in court" 
Mjalli said.

"Being classified as a POW is a major move forward, because it will help us 
to ask for Saddam Hussein's rights as a POW"

Nada Doumani, ICRC

Although, Jordan's government is a key Arab ally of the US, the Jordan Bar 
Association has been planning to set up a legal committee to defend Saddam 
Hussein, who was arrested near Tikirit in central Iraq last month.

POW status can be changed

The United States last week formally declared Saddam Hussein an enemy 
prisoner of war, which entitles him to all the rights enshrined in the 
Geneva Convention. A top US official has since said the United States 
reserves the right to change his status.

An ICRC spokesperson Nada Doumani told Aljazeera.net that the Committee is 
satisfied with the prisoner of war status for Saddam Hussein.

But Doumani confirmed that the US does have the right to change Saddam 
Hussein's detained status.

"It is possible under certain circumstances, the Geneva Conventions do not 
stipulate that it's not allowed to change the status of a prisoner of war."

"Being classified as a POW is a major move forward, because it will help us 
to ask for Saddam Hussein's rights as a POW," Doumani said.

Responding to a question about whether they received a no-objection letter 
from US authorities to visit Saddam Hussein, Doumani added: "we sent a 
letter to the US officials asking that, but we have not received the answer 
yet. I am sure the answer will be a positive one, but it is a matter of time".

By Ahmed Janabi

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