Monday, January 01, 2007

Saddam Video Copycat

January 1, 2007 opens with the news of the death of a nine-year-old who died by hanging, as he attempted to imitate the widely broadcast Saddam Hussein execution video. This press account, "Boy hangs himself 'like Saddam'", includes the details of the young person's death and the realizations from some media critics that the video being shown is graphic:

Multan - A young boy who tried to copy hanging scenes from the execution video of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein died in central Pakistan, said police on Monday.

Mubashar Ali, 9, hanged himself, while re-enacting Hussein's hanging with the help of elder sister, 10, after tying a rope to a ceiling fan and his neck in his home in Rahim Yar Khan district on Sunday, said a local police official.

The father of the deceased boy said that his children had been watching the video of Saddam Hussein's execution on television and attempted to imitate the hanging as other family members thought they were playing in another room.

"My wife and sister rushed to rescue Mubashar when children cried for help from the adjoining room, but he died due to hanging," said Alamgir Paracha, father of Mubashar.

Police said that the death was accidental and a case of parental negligence.

"It was an accident which happened due to carelessness of parents," said district police chief Sultan Ahmad.

Images of the fallen Iraqi dictator with a strap around his neck, surrounded by executioners in balaclavas, were repeatedly telecast by Pakistani television channels at the weekend.

Commentators and the media across Europe had expressed shock and unease on Sunday at graphic television pictures showing the last moments of Hussein just before his execution.