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Saddam Hussein’s Death Sentence Will Be Appealed

Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death by hanging Sunday for his role in mass killings in 1982, causing mixed reactions. Capital sentences in Iraq are automatically appealed. John Burns of The New York Times discusses the appeals process, which could conclude in January.

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    John Burns, every account of yesterday's verdict and sentence referred to a divided response. Has that continued today?

  • JOHN BURNS, Baghdad Bureau Chief, New York Times:

    It has, but I have to say in a pretty tamped-down, muted fashion. The curfew is still in place. The curfew for motor vehicles, which has been in place for 48 hours, will be lifted at 6:00 a.m. Baghdad time on Tuesday morning. That's about five hours away now in Baghdad, and we'll probably see then the full extent of the fury and, indeed, the celebration that this death sentence has occasioned.


    What about outside of Baghdad and the rest of the country? Has there been much of a response there?


    Well, the curfew extended to the places where you might have expected most trouble, that is to say, the principal centers of Sunni population, Baghdad, of course, Mosul, Kirkuk, and area north and east of Baghdad, Diyala, which has the most mixed Sunni-Shiite population, which has become one of the most restive places in the country.

    But so far what we've seen is demonstrations, a few hundred people raising Saddam's portrait. Elsewhere, a few hundred, maybe a few thousand people in Sadr City in northeastern Baghdad celebrating. But it's all been pretty low-key.