UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Iraq on Saturday to suspend the
execution of "those whose death sentences may be carried out in the near
future," his spokesperson said.
"The Secretary-general strongly urged
the Government of Iraq to grant a stay of execution to those whose death
sentences may be carried out in the near future," said a statement issued by the
office of Ban's spokesperson.
UN Secretary-General Ban
The statement came a week after the execution of former Iraqi president
Saddam Hussein for killing nearly 150 Shiites following a 1982 assassination
attempt against Saddam in a town north of Baghdad.
of staff, Vijay Nambiar, sent a letter to Iraq's permanent representative to the
United Nations, reiterating Ban's endorsement of a call made last Wednesday by
the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, for restraint in
carrying out death sentences imposed by the Iraqi High Tribunal, the statement
The letter also refers to Ban's view that "all members of the international
community should pay due regard to all aspects of international humanitarian and
human rights laws," the statement added.
Arbour appealed to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani not to execute two Saddam
co-defendants -- Barzan Ibrahim, Saddam's half brother and former intelligence
chief, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, former head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court.
Saddam's hanging drew mixed reaction from around the world. Some hailed the
execution, but others questioned the legal procedures under which the sentence
had been carried out and the timing of the execution.
On Saturday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki threatened to review ties
with countries that criticized Saddam's hanging.
"The Iraqi government could be obliged to review its relations with any state
that fails to respect the wish of the Iraqi people," Maliki warned on the
occasion of the Army Day, saying Saddam had received a fair trial and that his
execution was a "domestic affair."