Monday, January 25, 2010

Iraqis Execute Chemical Ali For Crimes Against Humanity

Good riddance to bad rubbish. Ali Hassan al-Majid, who is much better known as Chemical Ali, was one of Saddam Hussein's top henchmen and was convicted of using chemical weapons and crimes against humanity during the Anfal campaign. The Anfal campaign involved the systematic attack against dozens of Kurdish villages and resulted in the murder of thousands of Kurds in Halabja. In fact, the total number killed in Chemical Ali's campaign ranges from a low of 100,000 to 150,000 with a similar number of widows and orphans.

In fact, Chemical Ali was executed after a fifth death sentence was handed down. His barbarism has been well documented, but it bears repeating:
Ali Hassan received five death sentences for genocide, crimes against humanity (specifically willful killing, forced disappearances and extermination), and war crimes (intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population). He was also sentenced to multiple prison terms ranging from seven years to life for other inhumane acts.[18] As his sentences have been upheld, under Iraqi law, sentence is to be carried out by hanging, subject to the convictions being upheld following an automatic appeal, and he was to be executed in the following 30 days along with two others - Sultan Hashem Ahmed, military commander of the Anfal campaign; and Hussein Rashid Mohammed, deputy general commander of the Iraqi armed force, assistant chief of staff for military operations, and former Republican Guard commander. The executions, however, were postponed to 16 October, because of the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan.[19] He was supposed to be executed 16 October 2007, but was delayed when Iraqi President Jalal Talabani expressed opposition to the sentences and refused to sign the execution orders.[20] He then entered into a legal row with Nouri al-Maliki, and as a result the Americans refused to hand any of the condemned prisoners over until the issue was resolved.

In the same year his sister-in-law and her daughter were killed by unknown men in Tikrit. In February 2008 an anonymous informant has stated that Ali Hassan al-Majid's execution has finally been approved by President Talabani and the two Vice-Presidents: this was the final hurdle in the way of the execution.[21]

On 2 December 2008, Chemical Ali was once again sentenced to death, but this time for playing a role in killing between 20,000 and 100,000 Shi'ite Muslims during the revolt in southern Iraq that followed the 1991 Persian Gulf War.[22]

On 2 March 2009, al-Majid was sentenced to death for the third time, this for the assassination of Grand-Ayatollah Mohammad al-Sadr in 1999.[23]

The Iraqi Cabinet put pressure on the Presidential council on 17 March 2009 for Al-Majid's "execution".[24]

The situation was similar on Sunday 17th January 2010 prior to 9am (GMT); a fourth death penalty was issued against him in response to his acts of genocide against Kurds in the 1980s. Additionally he was also convicted of killing Shia Muslims in 1991 and 1999. Along -side him in the trial was former defence minister Sultan Hashem, also found guilty by The Iraqi High Tribunal for the Halabja attack sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. The execution was carried out on 25 January 2010.[2]

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