Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • EU leaders choose Tusk and Mogherini for top jobs, discuss Russia sanctions

    Read more

  • Austerity row overshadows French Socialist’s annual rally

    Read more

  • UN peacekeepers battle jihadists in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Egypt sentences Brotherhood leader Badie to life

    Read more

  • Ceasfire allows Gaza families to relax on the beach

    Read more

  • S. Africa condemns 'military coup' in Lesotho

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

Middle east

Saddam Hussein's notorious henchman 'Chemical Ali' executed

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-01-25

Ali Hassan al-Majid, also known as "Chemical Ali", was executed on Monday, according to an Iraqi government spokesman. He had been sentenced to death for ordering the gassing of Kurds in the north-eastern Iraqi town of Halabja, killing 5,000 people.

AFP- Saddam Hussein's notorious henchman "Chemical Ali" was executed on Monday, an Iraqi government spokesman said, a sentence carried out around a week after he received a fourth death sentence.
  
"The condemned Ali Hassan al-Majid has been executed by hanging until death today," said spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh in a statement.
  


On January 17, Majid was sentenced to death for ordering the gassing of Kurds in the northeastern town of Halabja, one of the worst atrocities of late dictator Saddam Hussein's regime that killed an estimated 5,000 people.
  
Three-quarters of the victims at Halabja were women and children, in what is thought to be the deadliest ever gas attack carried out against civilians.
  
The conviction for the gas attack that came as the Iran-Iraq war drew to a close in 1988 was the fourth time that Majid, better known by his macabre nickname, has received a death sentence.
  
Handing down the ruling, Judge Abud Mustapha al-Hamani branded Majid's offences as "deliberate murder, a crime against humanity" when the verdict was delivered amid muffled applause in the courtroom.
  
"Al hamdulillah, Al hamdulillah (praise be to God)," said a stone-faced Majid, in a hearing broadcast on television.
  
Majid's execution had previously been held up by legal wrangling. The first execution was due to have been carried out by October 2007 but delayed so as not to coincide with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
  
A close cousin of Saddam, Majid earned his moniker for ordering poisonous gas attacks in a brutal scorched-earth campaign of bombings and mass deportations that killed an estimated 182,000 Kurds in the 1980s.
  
He had already been sentenced to hang for genocide over the Kurdish offensives when in December 2008 he received a second death sentence for war crimes committed during the ill-fated 1991 Shiite uprising in southern Iraq.
  
Last March, the Iraqi High Tribunal handed down a third death sentence over the 1999 murders of dozens of Shiites in the Sadr City district of Baghdad and in the central shrine city of Najaf.
  
Majid was the King of Spades in the pack of cards of most wanted Iraqis issued by the US military in 2003 and was arrested in August of that year.
  
However, he is probably best known for the Halabja attack when in March 1988, Iraqi jets swooped over the small town and for five hours sprayed it with a deadly cocktail of mustard gas and the nerve agents Tabun, Sarin and VX.
  
Considered Saddam's right-hand man and bearing a strong resemblance to the former dictator, he was a member of the decision-making Revolutionary Command Council and regularly called upon to wipe out rebellion.
  
In March 1987, the ruling Baath party put him in charge of state agencies in the Kurdish area, including the police, army and militias.
  
As Iraq's eight-year war with Iran drew to a close the following year, fighters from the rebel Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, with backing from Tehran, took over the farming community of Halabja, near the border.
  
As Saddam's enforcer, he ordered the gas attack to crush the uprising. Majid said he took action against the Kurds, who had sided with Iraq's enemy in the war, for the sake of Iraqi security and has refused to express remorse.
  
 

Date created : 2010-01-25

COMMENT(S)