UK tabloid, The Sun, owned by media mogul, Rubert Murdoch, published on its front page Saddam Hussein , clad only in white briefs, folding a pair of trousers. On an inside page, the tabloid showed Saddam Hussein hand-washing a piece of clothing.
The Sun claims it got the pictures from sources who hoped to deal a body blow to the Iraqi resistance.
The tabloid said it obtained the photos from "U.S. military sources.", adding that Saddam is being held in a 12 foot by 9 foot cell containing a small desk, a bed and a pink plastic chair.
It said he is watched around the clock by three CCTV cameras and even monitored when using the toilet. The Sun quotes military guards as saying Saddam is now one of their best-behaved prisoners.
The photograph showing Saddam in his underwear have also appeared on the front page of the New York Post and on television worldwide.
The New York Post observed:
In Iraq, US military officials have condemned the release of photos taken of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in prison. A Multinational Force Iraq official said in a statement:
"The pictures capture a Saddam Hussein far removed from the man who once owned 100 palaces, a huge yacht and a fleet of cars.
This is the postdownfall Saddam -- a man of no wealth, no luxuries and underwear that doesn't fit right."
Article 13 of the Third Geneva Convention of 1929 is clear enough:
"These photos were taken in clear violation of DoD directives and possibly Geneva Convention guidelines for the humane treatment of detained individuals. We take seriously our responsibility to ensure the safety and security of all detainees.
This lapse is being aggressively investigated to determine, if possible, who took the photos, and to ensure existing procedures and directives are complied with to prevent this from happening again."
"Prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity."
It was said the photos were furnished by members of the U.S. military, allegedly in the hope that the embarrassing pictures of the former Iraqi leader would discourage insurgents who have been fighting against the country's new democratic government.
The Sun said it received the pictures from a source in the U.S. military. The source supposedly said: "Saddam is just an aging and humble old man now. It's over, guys. The evil days of Saddam's Ba'ath Party are never coming back -- and here's the proof."
Abdelbari Atwan, editor-in-chief of Al-Quds al-Arabi, a London-based pan Arab newspaper, said that the idea that the pictures would demoralise Iraqi insurgents was ill-conceived. He said:
The source of the photos was unknown, but may have been taken more than a year ago.
"It will be counter-productive.
The Americans, when they released this picture, they thought they would send a message to the Iraqi insurgents that Saddam is finished and he is humiliated and they will have to give up.
I think this will fuel more attacks.
They will feel, ‘look the Americans are humiliating an important figure’.
The timing is disastrous after the desecration of the Koran [in Newsweek magazine] and now you have Saddam Hussein in his underpants.
It’s an awful public relations exercise."
The Sun claims that it was told the name and location of the Iraqi jail where the ex-dictator is being held, but is withholding the exact whereabouts.
Others have alleged that he is being held at or near the Baghdad airport.
Lawyers for Saddam Hussein said today that they have started legal action against The Sun after the newspaper published a front-page picture of the deposed dictator wandering around an Iraqi jail in his underpants.
The following photo was also taken by US soldiers when Saddam Hussein was caught in 2003.
Also (Click here to see photos) photos taken of US soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison.