Sunday, December 31, 2006

Unofficial footage of Saddam's Execution

***WARNING: This post contains video footage of a graphic nature***

Covertly shot footage which appears to have been taken on a mobile phone, shows the last moments of Saddam Hussein's life before he was executed yesterday.

Interestingly, the footage shows a different scene from the 'official' footage released to the worldwide media soon after the execution.

In what must be one of the most graphic examples of 'citizen journalism' to date, the grainy footage, including sound, shows Saddam's execution in full, and rather than a calm serene scene, it appears to be a noisy, highly charged event where insults are thrown around the room with Saddam answering back on more than one occasion towards his accusers. This in itself is not surprising as the official footage released yesterday did not include sound, nor did it actually show the execution.

The footage is included below however please do not watch if you are offended easily. It is uncut.


Here is a transcript of the audio taken from the footage and translated into English.

Translation of Arabic subtitles accompanying the latest execution footage when broadcast on al-Jazeera TV station:

[Saddam] Oh God.

[Voices] May God's blessings be upon Muhammad and his household.

[Voices] And may God hasten their appearance and curse their enemies.

[Voices] Moqtada [Al-Sadr]...Moqtada...Moqtada.

[Saddam] Do you consider this bravery?

[Voice] Long live Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr.

[Voice] To hell.

[Voice] Please do not. The man is being executed. Please no, I beg you to stop.

[Saddam] There is no God but Allah and I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God. There is no God but Allah and I testify that Muhammad... [At this point, Saddam is executed]

The footage then becomes blurred before finally showing Saddam's face, he is dead, his eyes remain open.


The fact that this footage has been recorded and propagated, shows how the media is being used unwittingly to create different accounts of the same incident. As such, the importance of citizen journalism is on the rise. It offers an undiluted and uncontaminated account of events, separate from comment or images released by official bodies or governments.

Some will argue that footage such as this, proves that the full details behind world events are often kept out of the public gaze. Why wasn't the full, unedited footage released by the official authorities and does the fact that the full footage has been covertly filmed and leaked online, harm the image of Iraq as a new democracy?

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