Local Time

Sunday, November 05, 2006

'An Immortal Day'

Updated: 14:59, Sunday November 05, 2006

The people of Iraq have reacted with mixed emotions to news of Saddam Hussein's death sentence.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki:
"The verdict placed on the heads of the former regime does not represent a verdict for any one person. It is a verdict on a whole dark era that has was unmatched in Iraq's history."

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani:
"I think the trial was fair. Those people had the full right to say what they intended."

IN NAJAF, THE SHI'ITE HOLY CITY

Ali al Shamari, aged 30:
"This is a happy day for all Iraqis and I pray God that the sentence will be implemented."

Housewife Um Hussain, aged 45:
"The court has brought justice for my son who was killed by Saddam."

Mohammad Esa, aged 27:
"This is exactly what Saddam deserves for all the crimes he committed against the people of Iraq. God willing, he will be executed."

IN RAMADI, CAPITAL OF THE SUNNI PROVINCE OF ANBAR

Teacher Qasim al Dulaimi, aged 45:
"The sentence against president Saddam was unjust, it was merely to satisfy the American government."

College student Ahmed Hussain al Dulaimi, aged 25:
"We were not surprised about the death sentence against President Saddam. The sentence was given for the benefit of Bush in the election."

Tribal leader Mohammad al Dulaimi, aged 55:
"The sentence against President Saddam will make the situation deteriorate more. Saddam will remain a symbol for all Iraqis because he refused to concede to the Americans. Everyone collaborated against Saddam (in the trial)."

IN MOSUL, A MIXED CITY NORTH OF BAGHDAD

Bahjat, 30, a Sunni Arab who declined to give his last name:
"They have sentenced Saddam to death for the killings that happened when he was a president. Who is going to sentence the leaders now for the everyday killings that are happening in the country?"

Haitham, 42, a Sunni Arab who declined to give his last name:
"I feel sad for Saddam, we have wronged him. We did not support him but now, after what we have seen, what has happened since he was toppled, it has become clear to us that he was the best man in the world."

IN BASRA, THE MAINLY SHI'ITE SOUTHERN PORT

Mohammad Abdul Jabar, aged 40:
"I'm very happy for the death sentence against Saddam, who stole 15 years from my life in prison on fake charges."

Tariq Safi, aged 35:
"This is an immortal day in the life of Iraqis. I'm an engineer and I was dismissed from my job for political reasons, so justice was done for me today with the death sentence for Saddam."

Hazim Messabih, aged 35:
"Like every oppressed Iraqi, I feel happy, although to execute Saddam once is not enough as Saddam destroyed a whole country. And the real joy will be the occupation forces leaving Iraq."

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