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Commission to Help Compensate Iraqis Persecuted by Saddam

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 27, 2004 – Coalition officials announced today the formation of a commission to compensate Iraqis who were fired, wrongfully imprisoned or otherwise persecuted by deposed dictator Saddam Hussein.

Dan Senor, senior advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority, called the establishment of the commission an important step in moving the country toward reconciliation and healing. "Iraq cannot move forward without dealing with its past, and we think this is a part of that," he said.

Details of the special commission are still being worked out, Senor said, but it will be run by Iraqis, with oversight led by the interim Iraqi government that assumes sovereignty from the Coalition Provisional Authority on June 30. The coalition will set aside "substantial funding" to cover initial startup costs, he said.

Senor said that while it's impossible to fully compensate those who suffered under three decades of Saddam's brutal dictatorship, the commission will "begin the process of correcting these injustices of the past."

The coalition expects "in the days ahead" to provide more concrete details about the commission, including the name of the person who will run it, Senor said.

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