EU official condemns Saddam hanging, Russia voices concern
Hanging former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was "barbaric" and may turn him into a martyr, the European Union's aid and development Commissioner told Reuters on Saturday.
"You don't fight barbarism with acts that I deem as barbaric. The death penalty is not compatible with democracy," Louis Michel told Reuters. "Unfortunately Saddam Hussein risks to appear as a martyr, and he does not deserve that. He is not a martyr, he committed the worse things," Michel said in a phone interview.
"The death penalty is against the values of the European Union ... we are against by principle, whatever the crimes committed by Saddam Hussein - and he committed horrible ones," Michel said.
Meanwhile, Russia said on Saturday it regretted the execution of Saddam and voiced concerns that his death could trigger a new spiral of violence in the war-torn Iraq. "Regrettably, repeated calls by representatives of various nations and international organisations to the Iraqi authorities to refrain from capital punishment were not heard," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said in a statement.
"Saddam Hussein's execution can lead to further aggravation of the military and political situation and the growth of ethnic and confessional tensions."