Death Penalty Is A “Punishment” Which Destructs Honour And Dignity Of Humanity!


The Announcement by Human Rights Agenda Association on the Execution of Saddam Husein!

Article 1

1. No one within the jurisdiction of a State Party to the present Protocol shall be executed.

2. Each State Party shall take all necessary measures to abolish the death penalty within its jurisdiction.

Second Optional Protokol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the death penalty


Article 1 – Abolition of the death penalty

The death penalty shall be abolished. No one shall be condemned to such penalty or executed.

Article 2 – Prohibition of derogations

No derogation from the provisions of this Protocol shall be made under Article 15 of the Convention.

Protokol No.13 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedom, concernind the abolition of the death penalty in all circumtances

Today’s pictures taken just before Saddam Husein had been executed will be recorded in human history as a black mark. The scene of the execution which were shown on television screensas if it was something quite usual have demonstrated once again that capital punishment is a cruel and degrading penalty. We, therefore, would like to remind that death penalty is within the scope of torture, ill treatment, inhumane and degrading conduct or punishment. Since death sentence targets to annihilate physical and mental accord of a human being it directly violate the right of life; therefore, the fact that execution is carried out directly by state actors in no way legitimize the death penalty; on the contrary this makes the whole event even more repulsive. The intervention of the United States and its allies in Iraq ignoring the principles of international law has unfortunately turned the Middle East into a blood sea. Eventually, the execution of Saddam Husein disregarding human rights values and law constitutes another example of the ongoing lawlessness in the international field.

Over half the countries in the world have now abolished the death penalty in law or practice. Amnesty International’s latest information shows that:

  • 88 countries and territories have abolished the death penalty for all crimes;
  • 11 countries have abolished the death penalty for all but exceptional crimes such as war time crimes;
  • 29 countries can be considered abolitionist in practice: they retain the death penalty in law but have not carried out any executions for the past 10 years or more and are believed to have a policy or established practice of not carrying out executions, making a total of 128 countries which have abolished the death penalty in law or practice.
  • 69 other countries and territories retain and use the death penalty, but the number of countries which actually execute prisoners in any one year is much smaller.

During 2005, at least 2,148 people were executed in 22 countries and at least 5.186 people were sentenced to death in 53 countries. These were only minimum figures; the true figures were certainly higher. In 2005, 94per cent of all known executions took place in China,Iran, Saudi Arabia and the USA.[1].

In the light of the abovefigures, the countries that support the execution of Saddam Husein but foremost the United States are the most problematic states about the implementation of death penalty. According to the report by Human Rights Watch, Saddam Husein was sentenced to death penalty following an unfair trial.[2]Consequently, the execution of Saddam Husein comes out as a result of a series of human rights violations.

No doubt, Saddam Husein is the main suspect for the heavy and series violations such as crimes against humanity and war crimes which were carried out during his presidency. However, the trial for these kinds of crimes should have been carried out not by a court which operated with a political intent and was far away from international standards and security but a court which conducts according to the standards accepted for fair trial, outlaws all kinds of torture and ill treatment, carries out no death penalty, defines crimes openly without raising any doubts and which istruly impartial and independent like the one such as International Criminal Court[3]should be the body to deal with these crimes.

Death Penalty is an inhumane andoutmoded practice. Thefact that death penalty isa “punishment” that destructs the dignity and honour of humanity has becomeevident once again!

The enforcement of death penalty is against the modern understanding in criminal judgment which is based on the view that criminals could well be rehabilitated for the good of the society. For trials that entail death penalty for any kind of crime what-so-ever, the possibility of making a judicial mistake involves even bigger risks in terms of human rights violations. Because, death penalty is apunishment that lets no return and it is impossible to restore the situation once the execution is carried out. This characterisation of death penalty is evenmore evident in countries where political opinions are sentenced to death. In this kind of situations, courts which are too weak to be judicially independent may well become the tools to carry out governmental policies. Under conditions where all kinds of political activities that are not in accord with the policies of the existing government are defined as a crime that requires death penalty, capital punishment could just be imposed on courts. Above all, death penalty can not be used to curse murdering because it itself is an act of murdering.[4]

The whole process of the trial and the execution of Saddam Husein in Iraq is a clear indication of the views we tried to express above. We, therefore, protest all countries which execute and support death penalty but foremost the United States and the current Iraqi government. The fact that, Turkey,as a country which abolished death penalty, preferred to take a rather peculiar position by declaring that “it is an internal concern of Iraq” and displayed no attempt to prevent the execution of Saddam Husein is nothing but an involvement in the crime. We, therefore, would like to expressour protests for the imprudence shown by the government of the Turkish Republic. Turkey should play an effective role for the abolishment of death penalty in all countries with which it has historical, cultural, political and commercial relations. We would like to take this occasion to invite countries which carry out death penalty, first of all to stop the execution of this sentence and then to abolish death penalty for all crimes and under all conditions. The execution of Saddam Husein once again displayed very clearly that capital punishment is an undignified sentence. The execution of Saddam Husein has strengthened the already fertile ground over which further violence and conflicts will be built up and weakened the hopes for peace by nourishing the feeling of injustice.




[1] Facts and Figures on the Death Penalty, Amnesty International, Last updated: 12December 2006, available at

[2] Judging Dujail, The First Trial before the Iraqi High Tribunal, Human Rights Watch, November 2006 Volume 18, No. 9(E),availableat

[3] International Criminal Court, available at

[4]Execution can not be used to curse murdering, becuause it itself is an act of murdering; Amnesty International, Execution of Death Penalty is a Murder, Bulletin of Izmir Bar Assocition, Special Issue of Human Rights Centre, April 2002, s.58.