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Iraqi Council Seeks Support for Saddam's Victims' Families

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 22, 2005 – The Iraqi government is working out a plan to establish a commission to bring justice to and restore the rights of tens of thousands of families in Iraq whose loved ones were killed under Saddam Hussein's regime.

Iraq's Ministerial Council has approved a draft law establishing a commission "to take care of the martyrs' families" and redress injustices against them, Laith Kubba, spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari, said during an Aug. 21 news conference in Baghdad, Iraq. Kubba defined martyrs as "those who were executed and victims of mass graves and ... political assassinations."

The draft law proposes paying a monthly allotment to affected families, canceling their debts, providing assistance with real estate loans, and giving them plots of land, Kubba said.

"We cannot compensate these families for those who were lost, but we can help them in another way," he said. "We want to do justice to these people, and the government wants to restore their rights. And this will pave the way to hold a national reconciliation to put an end to the mistakes committed in the past."

The Iraqi National Assembly will now consider the draft law, he said.

Another measure approved by the Ministerial Council will provide pensions to Iraqis who served more than 15 years in the old Iraqi army or in government commissions and ministries that have since been disbanded.

Kubba emphasized that those named by the de-Baathification Commission as members of Saddam's Baath Party would not be eligible.

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