As a teenage daughter of Saddam Hussein's pilot, I attended his palace parties and called him uncle. Yet, he was the demon of my life as he was for most Iraqis. Like a poisonous gas, he leaked his way into my family's home. He took over our lives as we breathed him in slowly. We endured his abuse. For three decades, he committed and endorsed murder, rape, and torture against women.
But despite loathing him, I find his death sentence most unfortunate.
Executing Saddam without unequivocal recognition of his crimes against women, buries their suffering along with him and sweeps their rights under the dirty rug of politics. This is a horrific miscarriage of justice.
Like all women survivors of war that I have met through my work with Women for Women International, I believe revenge feeds the cycle of violence. I hoped his trial would seek justice for all Iraqis rather than take revenge for some. I hoped it would be a vehicle to reintroduce the rule of law and provide Iraqis with a chance to heal themselves. I now see it as a missed opportunity to lift the veil of secrecy and expose his crimes against women.
Sadly, some Iraqis nowadays commit these same crimes against women with impunity. Iraqi women -then and now, dead and alive- deserve better.
They deserve justice.