The London-based human rights organisation said the delegates had arrived in Baghdad before Saddam and seven associates go on trial Wednesday on charges over the 1982 killing of 143 people from the Shia village of Dujail, allegedly as revenge for an attempt on his life.

"The organisation is concerned that Saddam Hussein and his co-accused should receive a fair trial, one that satisfies international fair trial standards," Amnesty said in a statement on Tuesday.

Fair trial vital 

Fairness was important "both as a matter of principle and also because this trial may establish the pattern for further trials in the future of persons accused of perpetrating gross human rights abuses in Iraq in former years," it said.

Amnesty also said that it is concerned "that Saddam Hussein and his co-accused, if convicted, should not be sentenced to death and executed."

For over three decades, Amnesty documented massive and gross violations of human rights under the government of Saddam Hussein and called repeatedly on the international community to act.

"It is important that justice is delivered for thousands of victims of abuses and that this is done through fair trial proceedings. This has paramount importance for the future of human rights in the country," it said.