Monday, January 15, 2007

Outrage over Saddam's kinfolk hanging

Saddam Hussein’s half brother and the former chief of Iraq’s Revolutionary Court were both hanged before dawn Monday, but the half-brother's head was severed by the noose — leading to outrage from Sunnis who claim the body was mutilated.

Barzan Ibrahim, Saddam’s half brother and former intelligence chief, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, once head of Iraq’s Revolutionary Court, had been found guilty along with Saddam in the killing of 148 Shiite Muslims after a 1982 assassination attempt on the former leader in the town of Dujail north of Baghdad.

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh confirmed the executions, saying those attending the hangings included a prosecutor, a judge and a physician.

He also said Ibrahim’s head was severed from his body during his hanging.

“In a rare incident, the head of the accused Barzan Ibrahim al-Hassan was separated from his body during the execution,” al-Dabbagh told reporters.

Hangmen gauge the length of rope needed to snap the neck of the condemned but not to create enough force to sever the head.

Saleem al-Jibouri, a senior Sunni Arab lawmaker, said Ibrahim's body might have been weakened by the cancer he was suffering.
I'm going to ask a politically incorrect question here: If Saddam's brother was going to have his neck snapped, he would have died. If his head popped off from the rest of the body during the hanging, he would have died. is the outcome any different?