Ethics of Uday and Qusay death pictures questioned

As the American military releases graphic photographs of the dead bodies of Saddam Hussein’s sons Uday and Qusay, questions are being asked as to the ethical implications of the move.

Although images of the bodies of despots such as Nikolai Ceausescu or Pol Pot have become almost iconic in the annals of photography, the deaths of enemies in combat -even of high ranking figures such as the members of Saddam’s family – are seen by many as grey area of combat ethics.

During the war in Iraq, the Arabic television station Al Jazeera was heavily criticised in the West for broadcasting footage of the dead bodies of Coalition soldiers, promoting some supporters of the station to make accusations of hypocrisy on the part of the Western media.

A former Arab League ambassador to London told the Channel Four news tonight that the USA should adhere to the same broadcasting standards which it said al Jazeera should have adopted.

“People were saying it is unethical, and were talking about standards of broadcasting and so forth. The same rules should apply here regardless of the characters of the individuals concerned,” said Ghayth Armanazi.

The decision to release the pictures was taken in order to offer tangible evidence to the Iraqi people that the Ba’aath regime, as George W Bush put it today, was “gone.”