Raouf Abdel Rahman,1 the Kurdish-Iraqi former chief judge of Saddam Hussein's one-and-only trial,2 has apparently claimed asylum in Britain. All I can say is, I hope like hell they give it to him.
As Human Rights Watch has reported in detail,3 the Coalition Authority and the Iraq government have both failed miserably at keeping court staff, witnesses, et cetera safe during the trial. I'm not surprised Abdel Rahman left, and I would hope the fact that he is at risk of death in Iraq is not just accepted but accepted quickly, and with a minimum of dangling for the family. Britain has less-than-awesome recent history vis-a-vis its refugees, including letting legal residents/asylees like Bisher Amin Khalil al-Rawi and Jamil al-Banna languish in Guantanamo because they weren't citizens (a legally suspect and hideously unethical argument). And the whole Belmarsh debacle.
In other Iraq is now a hell-hole news, the Beeb reports that "Iraq's Mandaeans 'face extinction'". Sabian Mandaeans form a small Judeo/Gnostic religion which I believe fits pretty snugly into the category of dhimmi. But that's just me...
- a.k.a. Rauf Rashid Abd al-Rahman
- Regarding the Dujail massacre; Wikipedia article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trial_of_Saddam_Hussein
- Judging Dujail report from HRW, availible here: http://hrw.org/reports/2006/iraq1106/