The execution video, parts of which have since been uploaded on YouTube, was shown to members of the Ba’ath Party and Fedayeen paramilitaries on trial in Baghdad last Thursday and after one of the defendants closed his eyes in horror at the video the presiding Judge, Mahmoud al-Hassan, could no longer hold back his anger. While the video was still playing he remarked ‘Yes look away, as if you never saw it. Look how he closes his eyes. Go on close your eyes, close your eyes! It’s a sickening scene? Now you see? Now you see?’
The Judge orders the video to be stopped and returns his attention to the defendants, a few of which were present when the execution took place eleven years ago. He is furious at the men and tells them even if someone had killed his own father it would be difficult for anyone to carry out a murder in that fashion. He asks how they could have heard of such a thing and accepted it. He declares ‘will you say you didn’t hear? Will you say you didn’t know? Go on, let one of you tell me he didn’t know about this. We used to hear about the Fedayeen and their unit, which beheads people, but we have never seen. We have never seen with our own eyes.’
There was pin drop silence and no one dared to interrupt him. The Judge was visibly shaken by the video. Between his shouts, the only sound that can be heard is the weeping of the mother of Ehsan Hussain, who came to bear witness and had to watch every horrible moment all over again as the video was resumed. She cries as she watches the men dance around her son’s head. The video is then paused and an unmasked face becomes clearly discernible. His name is Falah and he is a member of the Fedayeen. He denies he beheaded any of the men but admits he was one of those celebrating the deaths of these ‘traitors’.
It saddens me to think this crime would not have happened had the US done the right thing in 1991 and removed Saddam and his sons from power. This should help explain why so many Iraqis fear the return of the Saddamists.
PS: Watch this video of the trial and of video of the beheading if you have the stomach for it.