Iraq PM announces amnesty for minor crimes
Iraq's Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi signed an amnesty law Saturday that would pardon Iraqis who have played minor roles in the country's 15-month-long resistance, but not those guilty of killing.
Early drafts of the amnesty reportedly would have forgiven most people involved in the resistance, but the law was apparently changed to exclude anyone who had killed.
"This amnesty is not for people...who have killed. Those people will be brought to justice, starting from Zarqawi down to the person in the street," the Iraqi PM said, referring to Jordanian activist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
The amnesty would forgive those who committed minor crimes between May 1, 2003, just after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, and Saturday, he said. Those eligible would need to turn themselves in over the next 30 days, Allawi said.
Those eligible for the amnesty include people in possession of light arms and explosives, those who hid intelligence about "terrorist" groups and people who helped those groups commit crimes, Allawi said, according to The AP.
"This order has been established to allow our citizens to rejoin civil society and participate in the reconstruction of their country and the improvement of their lives, instead of wasting their lives pointlessly toward a lost cause," he said. (albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)