Reuters reported Saddam Hussein may be fighting for his life in court but he still mesmerises Abu Hussein, a former torturer and hangman for the toppled leader who executed hundreds of Iraqis with the noose or the bullet.
I suspect the Iraqi government will be able to find a new hangman when Saddam's trial is over."I cry every time I think that he is on trial. I pray for his strength and freedom. Saddam must come back to rule Iraq," he told Reuters in an interview on Friday. "I am ready to return to my job if Saddam comes back."
Don't hold your breath.Saddam will face prosecutors again on Monday in a trial that Iraqi officials hope will help bury Iraq's violent past and demoralise his supporters waging a Sunni Arab insurgency. He could face the death sentence for crimes against humanity. But one of the men who carried out his summary executions still believes in Saddam's form of justice imposed in a country where he was a cult figure. Recalling his time as a hangman at Iraq's notorious Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad in the 1980s, Abu Hussein said a new batch of political prisoners was brought in without charge every week.
It must have been more efficient to hang them without bothering about a charge or a trial.Deserters from Iraq's war with Iran faced the firing squad. Prisoners who had insulted Saddam were hanged because it was crueller, said Abu Hussein, who declined to give his full name.
Was Saddam not insulted by deserters?"A firing squad is more compassionate because people usually died immediately. But hanging is cruel because it can take time to die. If they don't die, we started over again," he said.
It sounds like you were not a very good hangman..... "One of the worst things was putting 10 people in a one-square-metre room for weeks. They had a brief break every day and were allowed the toilet every three days," he said.
It must have been a messy room..... Abu Hussein, a father of three, said watching men writhe in agony as they died sometimes made him cry. But he said nobody could afford to defy orders in Saddam's Iraq. "We would have been killed on the spot. One time this executioner was one hour late in hanging someone and he was himself hanged. What could we do? All of this had a toll on us," he said.