Memories of Iraq in Kuwait and Iran

06 September 2004 by our correspondent

The start of trial proceedings against Saddam Hussein has sparked reactions in Kuwait and Iran, both direct victims of the toppled Baathist regime's aggression.

Kuwait stands apart for its relatively pluralistic press, and Ar Raï Al Aam (Public Opinion) is perhaps one of the best daily newspapers. It publishes hardline opinions from those who see the tribunal as a model of its kind and a precedent for Iraq. "The losers who are still weeping for the old regime see the tribunal as unjust. How can they be misguided to such an extent, and forget that Iraq has not had a single fair trial since the Baath party took power?" asks the Kuwaiti writer Qassem Hussein Awad.

However, as it appears in Joseph Samaha's editorial published in the Lebanese daily As Safir (and translated in Courrier International, 8-14 July 2004), Salem Chalabi, the Court's president, has been subject to considerable criticism for his strong links to American neo-conservatives and the Israeli extreme. "The best thing that could happen to Saddam and his band of assassins," writes Yasser Al Saleh in Ar Raï Al Aam, "is for this court to appear like a play staged by the Americans and acted by Iraqis, linked to the occupation and Zionism. Then his execution will not appear to have come directly from the will of ordinary Iraqi people."

Want to read more?

If you subscribe to a free membership, you can read this article and explore our full archive, dating back to 1997.

Subscribe now

Related articles

article
19 February 2007 by Laetitia Grotti

One year ago on January 6, 2006, the 17 members of Morocco's Equity and Reconciliation Commission (IER) were closing up shop after submitting their final report to King Mohammed VI. The Moroccan truth commission had received a flood of compliments from the international community praising the recommendations in its report, especially those advocating legislative and constitutional reforms. One year later, however, the results have been rather mixed.

article
11 September 2006 by our correspondent in Arusha

After having tried high-ranking officers, ministers, businessmen, priests, journalists, local officials and militiamen, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is in uncharted waters. On September 11, the most famous rwandese troubadour of his generation will stand trial for genocide. 

article
23 October 2006 by Christine Chaumeau

China is keeping a polite distance from international criminal justice. Beijing is hardly disinterested, but China does want to make sure that these new global mechanisms are not going to infringe upon its sovereignty by delving into particularly sensitive cases such as Tibet. 

article
United Nations Operation in Burundi disarms rebel forces in Mbanda in February 2005 (Photo: Flickr/UN Photo/Martine Perret)
03 June 2015 by Janet H. Anderson, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Over the last month, Burundi has hit the headlines as the president put himself forward to be elected for a controversial third term, resulting in street protests, thousands of refugees who fled instability and an attempted coup. Behind the issues of elections and constitutionalism are also those of justice following Burundi’s long-running civil war. The international community supported an intensive process of negotiation and the signing of the Arusha Accord in 2000. But in the decade and a half since, its provisions on justice have been debated though never fully implemented.

article
06 November 2006 by Pierre Hazan

France's attitude towards international criminal justice is marked by ambiguity. Paris subscribes to a vision of the world in which international humanitarian law is considered a way to curb violence against civilian populations, but at the same time it is wary of an unchecked judicial system that could end up prosecuting French soldiers engaged in areas where it has old and deep-rooted interests.