Tight security for Saddam trial
Amanpour is among the journalists inside the courthouse covering Saddam's trial.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour is inside the Baghdad courthouse where the first trial of Saddam Hussein on charges of crimes against humanity is scheduled to begin Wednesday.
She described the extremely tight security that surrounds the trial:
"This is the old Baath Party headquarters inside the Green Zone, and the first thing that strikes you about this operation is the massive security.
"Journalists and other observers, including diplomats, government officials and human rights representatives, began gathering in the Green Zone about three hours ago.
"We were all told in no uncertain terms by the U.S. marshals who are in charge of security that today it's going to be easier to get into the White House.
"It is extremely tight security, we are not allowed to take anything into the courtroom, not even a pad, not even a pen. We have been provided with those. We can't take anything except one piece of identification and the clothes we are wearing.
"The security consisted of us eventually being put onto buses that were screened so the curtains were drawn ... although all of us are rather familiar with the Green Zone.
"There are two rings of heavily reinforced concrete walls around this building. We all had to go through standard metal screening but also a full body X-ray so they could see if there was anything being carried on each person.
"Inside the courthouse we are in a holding room, which is being set aside for the press, with some computers and telephones, and we are awaiting the moment we are called into the courtroom."
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