Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saddam Hussein sentenced to death

Saddam Hussein has been convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging.




The former Iraqi president was convicted by a Baghdad court for his role in the killing of 148 people in the mainly Shia town of Dujail in 1982. His half-brother Barzan al-Tikriti and Iraq's former chief judge Awad Hamed al-Bandar were also sentenced to death.

Former Vice-President Taha Yassin Ramadan got life in jail and three others received 15 year prison terms. Another co-defendant, Baath party official Mohammed Azawi Ali, was acquitted.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki hailed the conviction in a televised address, saying that the sentence was "not a sentence on one man, but a sentence against all the dark period of his rule".

In the Shia district of Sadr City there was jubilation on the streets, with people driving around in cars, sounding their horns. There were also jubilant scenes in the holy city of Najaf.

Immediately after the sentencing, violence reportedly broke out in the mainly Sunni Azamiya district of Baghdad, with machine guns and mortars being fired. Three nearby provinces, including Salahuddin, which contains Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, are also under curfew.

Thousands of people also defied the curfew in Tikrit - but there it was to voice support for Saddam Hussein and to denounce the verdict. Sunnis in Tikrit marched through the city, chanting "We will avenge you Saddam."

Almost three years since Saddam Hussein was captured, soaring sectarian violence has brought Iraq to the brink of civil war.

Source and further details Here

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