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Posted: 10/20/2002 10:47:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/20/2002 10:48:48 AM EDT by cluster]
BAGHDAD Iraq -- All prisoners in Iraq are to be freed under a general amnesty, Iraqi television has announced. The amnesty -- which will not include those accused of spying for the United States or Israel -- will for the first time in President Saddam Hussein's 23 years in power, include political prisoners. The statement added that Hussein saw the amnesty as a thank you for the 100 percent vote in a referendum endorsing his leadership on Tuesday. Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhafa, said the "full and complete and final amnesty" applied to "any Iraqi imprisoned or arrested for political or any other reasons." But convicted murderers would only be freed if the victims' families agreed, the statement said. CNN's Jane Arraf said there could be tens of thousands of people being freed including high profile political prisoners. But she added often prisoners are jailed without their families knowing. The announcement came as the Iraqi government attempted to rally domestic and international support in the face of U.S. determination to topple it. As al-Sahhafa completed his statement, Iraqi television switched to file footage of Iraqis celebrating Saddam's elections victory, chanting his name and pledges of support. Iraqi exiles and the international community have largely scoffed at the vote -- where Saddam was the only candidate -- and the result. Saddam was the only candidate and Iraqis were asked to vote "yes" or "no" on whether he should serve another seven-year term. The presidential decree stated: "It's a unanimity that other nations are incapable of achieving and it is unparalleled, but it is a great truth and came from this faithful people at this time. "Prisoners and detainees would be set free immediately except in the case of those who are sentenced or detained because of killing and they would be set free only if the families of victims would forgive them, or if they hand back their debts to the government or people." The information minister asked the Iraqi people to welcome the prisoners back into society and forgive all of their sins. _______________________________________________ Now dont you all just wanna give Hussein a great big hug? edited cause I forgot the link.. [url]www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/meast/10/20/iraq.amnesty/index.html[/url]
Link Posted: 10/20/2002 10:53:42 AM EDT
Does that include prisoners of war? A certain military pilot perhaps? People abducted from Kuwait during the Iraqi invasion?
Link Posted: 10/20/2002 2:49:34 PM EDT
A hundred bucks says they all "volunteer" to join the Iraqi army. Except those who are too much of a threat and are shot "attempting to escape" before they are freed--no joke--I betcha it happens.
Link Posted: 10/20/2002 3:06:53 PM EDT
Hussein must be pissing his pants if he's willing to let political enemies walk. Guess he can hear the B-52's in the distance.
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