Friday, May 26, 2006

New de-ba'athification law proposed to the parliament.

The de-ba'athification committee is currently trying to better its work by making its regulations more flexible and less aggressive towards former members of the ba'ath party. This move seems to be part of the efforts to give more momentum for national unity after the formation of a national unity government.

According to al-Sabah the committee proposed to the Iraqi parliament a new law that includes considerable loosening of previous stiff de-ba'athification rules, mainly treating former "innocent" baa'th members of the 4th highest rank as retirees giving them full retirement rights and allowing those of the 5th highest rank to go back to their old jobs in the government offices and removing restrictions that banned those ba'ath members from assuming important positions in government offices (as high as general director or deputy minister). In fact the new law-once ratified-will oblige government offices and ministries to put those "clean members of the ba'ath" back in their jobs.

Al-Sabah interviewed Ali al-Lami executive director of the de-ba'athification committee who said the committee recognizes that some ministries used the laws of the committee in "an unacceptably wrong way" and said that the new legislation is designed to clear the misinterpretation of some government ministries to the older laws of the committee and correct the mistakes that misinterpretation had led to adding that clear separation should be made between ba'athist criminals and ba'ath members who are innocent and not proven to have committed atrocities against the people with the former still liable for prosecution under the law while the latter should be treated as normal citizens.

Collective punishment is totally rejected and it's one of the reasons why Saddam was a hated criminal in the eyes of most Iraqis and it's good to see the new government making steps to prevent this from happening again and it's even better to see a branch of the government admit its earlier mistakes.

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