In Mosul, a city north of Baghdad populated mainly by Sunni Arabs:
– “They have sentenced Saddam to death for the killings that happened when he was a president. Who is going to sentence the leaders now for the everyday killings that are happening in the country?”: Bahjat, 30, a Sunni Arab who declined to give his last name.
– “I feel sad for Saddam, we have wronged him. We did not support him but now, after what we have seen, what has happened since he was toppled, it has become clear to us that he was the best man in the world.”: Haitham, 42, a Sunni Arab who declined to give his last name.
Shia in Najaf celebrated
In Najaf, the Shia holy city south of Baghdad:
– “Saddam is sentenced to death! Die, you Baathists!”: crowds chanting after the verdict was reported on television.
– “This is a happy day for all Iraqis and I pray God that the sentence will be implemented.”: Ali al-Shamari, 30.
– “The court has brought justice for my son who was killed by Saddam.”: Um Hussain, 45, a housewife who was weeping.
– “This is exactly what Saddam deserves for all the crimes he committed against the people of Iraq. God willing, he will be executed.”: Mohammad Esa, 27.
– “God damn Saddam. Today justice has been done, and we’ll see Saddam hanged.”: Hazim Mohammad, 25, a worker.
In Ramadi, capital of the Sunni governorate of al-Anbar in western Iraq:
– “The sentence against president Saddam was unjust, it was merely to satisfy the American government.”: Qasim al-Dulaimi, 45, a teacher.
– “We were not surprised about the death sentence against President Saddam. The sentence was given for the benefit of Bush in the election.”: Ahmed Hussain al-Dulaimi, 25, college student.
– “The sentence against President Saddam will make the situation deteriorate more. Saddam will remain a symbol for all Iraqis because he refused to concede to the Americans. Everyone collaborated against Saddam (in the trial).”: Mohammad al-Dulaimi, 55, tribal leader.
Shaker: “What about crimes done
In Basra, the southern port city:
– “I’m very happy for the death sentence against Saddam, who stole 15 years from my life in prison on fake charges.”: Mohammad Abdul Jabar, 40, a worker.
– “This is an immortal day in the life of Iraqis. I’m an engineer and I was dismissed from my job for political reasons, so justice was done for me today with the death sentence for Saddam.”: ariq Safi, 35, a worker.
– “Like every oppressed Iraqi, I feel happy, although to execute Saddam once is not enough as Saddam destroyed a whole country. And the real joy will be the occupation forces leaving Iraq.”: Hazim Messabih, 35.
In Arbil, a Kurdish city north of Baghdad:
– “The verdict issued against Saddam today was fair for crimes he committed against the Iraqi people of all sects. But what about crimes committed after Saddam was toppled, such as the sectarian killing which is much worse than the crimes which Saddam committed?” : Kana’an Shaker, an official of the Turkman Party.
– “The whole subject is a political game, we want a quick end to the trial so the Iraqi people can rest in peace. We want to turn this page and start a new one.”: Omar Ahmed, 22, a university student.