Saddam Hussein, Iraq

Saddam Hussein,
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was a statesman of Iraq, allegedly born April 28, 1937 and executed by hanging on December 30, 2006 in Baghdad for crimes against humanity. He was Vice-President (1968-1979) then president (1979-2003) of Iraq, before being ousted in the invasion of Iraq in 2003 by the United States, the United Kingdom and a coalition of countries.

Governments and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have accused of war crimes, murder, crimes against humanity and genocide against the Kurds. Arrested in December 2003, he was sentenced to death November 5, 2006 for the Dujail massacre of 148 Shiite villagers in 1982. A few days after the verdict had been upheld on appeal (December 26, 2006), the sentence is executed and his hanging was carried out December 30, 2006 at six o'clock local time (3 h 00 GMT) in a barracks of Iraqi military intelligence located in the Shiite neighborhood of Al-Khademiya Baghdad.

His youth
We know only little about the early years of his life. He was born April 28, 1937 in a very poor family of landless peasants from the village of Al-Awja, near Tikrit. According to his official biography, his father, Hussein 'Abd al-Majid reportedly died shortly before or shortly after birth, but according to other biographies, unofficial and usually written by critics, his father had in fact abandoned his wife and children.

Little Saddam was raised by the new husband of his mother, a man who was brutal and illiterate, and who would have treated rudely. He then lived in a small mud house, which would have been composed of only one room and where, as in almost all Iraqi houses at the time, there was no electricity. At the age of six he had begun working as a shepherd. His family could not afford to pay her shoes, he would have gone to work in the fields barefoot. At the age of eight he had fled the family home, and have been gathered in Baghdad by a maternal uncle, Khairallah Talfah, a former officer who had supported the revolution of Rashid Ali al Gaylani and who became a schoolmaster. Before you know, Saddam Hussein would have been called ibn aziqa or literally, "son of the streets." His uncle would have enrolled in the municipal school, Saddam Hussein would have been the oldest student in her class. Khairallah was then left for Baghdad with Saddam where the young, in addition to attending school, he would have carried small businesses, like the assistant driver's cab and selling cigarettes at auction. His uncle had also learned to handle weapons, and would have learned about the history of Iraq, Nebuchadnezzar to the ancient history of Iraq, and Saladin in the medieval history of Iraq.

His uncle would have "given" his daughter in marriage. It would be well back from street level in the Albu Nasser tribe. Admiring his uncle, he decided to become like him, officer. It will be presented at the Military Academy to pass the entrance exam, but it would fail - which would have been surprising, given the education he had received from his uncle.

After completing his secondary education, the young Saddam joined an underground cell of the Baath party (the Socialist Party of the Arab Renaissance). This party, founded by a Syrian Christian, Michel Aflaq, and a Muslim Salah al-Din al-Bitar, affiliated with the Second Socialist International, now officially or illegal in all Arab countries, advocates a secular Arab nationalism and the unity of the Arab world, mixed with moderate socialist references (nationalization of national wealth, particularly oil).

Member of the Baath Party, he campaigned in the early 1950s, for Arab unity. A few years later he was convicted with his uncle to six months in prison for killing a police informant. He participated in 1956 in an abortive coup against the king of Iraq, supported and imposed by Great Britain. In 1958, another group, communist, under the leadership of General Kassem, Marxist officer, managed to dethrone the King.

On October 7, 1959, he was part of a group trying to assassinate General Kassem and establish a nationalist regime in Iraq, but they failed, and Saddam Hussein was wounded during this operation which he had finally a subordinate role. Later, his propaganda services attempt to beautify its action until it becomes the central figure in the plot failed and the hero of a new "gesture".

After his failed attempt to assassinate General Kassem, he allegedly fled on horseback, had crossed the Euphrates by swimming and with the help of the Syrian network, had crossed the desert, then took refuge among Bedouin, he took refuge in Damascus, where he met with Syrian Baathists. It remains to Damascus for three months, during this brief stay he made the acquaintance of Michel Aflaq. With his meeting with Secretary General of the Baath, he becomes a full member of the party. Then he went to Cairo at the time of the United Arab Republic, and he was sentenced in absentia to death by the Iraqi government. He continued his education in Cairo, where he received his "diploma" in 1961, then in 1962 he began studying law. But he was forced to abandon his studies to return to Iraq.

After the Iraqi revolution of February 8, 1963, during which the Marxist regime of General Kassem was overthrown by the Ba'athist nationalist groups led by General Aref, Saddam Hussein returned to Iraq via Syria, where he met again Michel Aflaq which sends a message that was given to Ahmad Hasan al-Bakr. It is through the Syrian and Iraqi Baathists. It also participates in several conferences pan-Arab party in Damascus, where he exhibited the same ideas qu'Aflaq. With his return to Iraq, he worked to recruit new militants.

In 1964, Saddam Hussein had planned to assassinate President Abdul Salam Aref. The attack was planned for September 5 was discovered by police yesterday, and he is imprisoned with an accomplice. During his detention, his wife Sajida brought him books and deepening its nationalist culture. He manages to escape July 23, 1966, during a transfer between prisons. He devoted himself to the establishment of a clandestine branch of the Baath, which involves hundreds of people.

His rise to power
Removed from power for a time, the Ba'ath Party returned to power during a coup, July 17, 1968, and became the party's most powerful and best organized in the region. During the "White Revolution" (name given because no drop of blood was shed during the coup), Saddam Hussein would - according to sources Baathists - besieged the presidential palace with tanks and " took power. On July 30, 1968, when he was still no official large in either the Baath Party or the State of Iraq, Saddam Hussein has sacked the prime minister and defense minister in person. Within the Baath Party (or the state of Iraq), Saddam Hussein takes the head of security services at the age of 31. He is also Vice-President of the Office revolutionary. It is this position important to his uncle by marriage, General Ahmad Hasan al-Bakr, President of the Republic and leader Baathist history.

Backed by his band, his "tribe", consisting of his immediate family, his many cousins and allies, and his native city of Tikrit, Saddam Hussein, little by little, "eliminate" its rivals, and managed to "control "Baghdad, the capital. He became Vice President of the Republic in 1971. However, to control the country, it needs a party at his devotion, and is modeled on the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, with which Iraq signed in 1972, a treaty of friendship. Saddam Hussein also travels in France the same year, June 14. According a member of senior management level of the CIA, he would have returned, carrying a tricolor flag in his luggage.

The Baath Party, is fast becoming ubiquitous, omnipotent, and a must for all business and gain power. In recent years, this party is an instrument entirely in the service of Saddam Hussein, which concentrates all power in his hands, from a collective power, initially to absolute despotism, even if he retained for the form, the Council of the Revolutionary Command, which is supposed to hold the power (Ezzat Ibrahim al-Duri is the vice-president).

A Western diplomat said, quoting a proverb "Arab", told the Iraqi political system, it worked like a palm tree that is also a symbol of Iraq: "It is still green if you cut branches lowest.

In the early 1970s, he gives himself the title of general "fee". On 1 June 1972, several years before taking power, Saddam Hussein began a broad nationalization of oil companies, national wealth which are hitherto foreign hands. Iraq is then an industrial and social development without precedent. Saddam Hussein seeks to modernize the economy and industry. Le 11 mars 1974, Saddam Hussein signe avec les deux Partis "autonomistes / independantistes" PDK et UPK Kurdes un accord relatif a l'autonomie du Kurdistan irakien, avec la "Loi pour l'autonomie dans l'aire du Kurdistan", qui stipule including that "the Kurdish language should be the official language for education of Kurds. This law also allows the election of an autonomous legislative council, which controls its own budget. However, 72 of the 80 elected members of the council of the first session in October 1974 have been selected by Baghdad. In October 1977, the entire board is chosen by the regime. In 1973, Saddam Hussein became general, and in 1979, to 42 years, feeling strong enough, he succeeded Ahmad Hasan al-Bakr became President of the Republic of Iraq following the cessation "precipitate" of his predecessor, officially for "health reasons". Thousands of Baath party cadres are then summoned emergency and twenty-two of them accused of treason, were arrested in full assembly, chaired by a "Saddam Hussein smoking a cigar and sometimes crying, and are taken to outside to be "summarily executed". The scene was filmed and is "followed live throughout the Arab world" and she used to "sit" the power of the new dictator in Iraq, and become "world famous" as an illustration of his methods and personality.

The trial (2005-2006)
The opening of the preliminary phase of his trial held in Baghdad in early July 2004. It is a special court, the Iraqi Special Tribunal (IST), who deems genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, with several other prominent members of the Baath Party.

One thousand five hundred twenty-two senior lawyers from Iraq, Jordan, Libya, France and the United States have volunteered to defend Saddam Hussein. Jacques Verges and Roland Dumas are some of the many lawyers.

On July 7, 2005, Ziad al-Khasawneh, the chief lawyer of Saddam Hussein, resigned, following pressure from U.S. lawyers, trying to stop him heading for the Iraqi resistance and against the invasion army.

On August 8, 2005, all appointed counsel by the Tribunal, but one Iraqi, Khalil al-Dulaimi, are challenged by the Hussein family, who are accused of having self-appointed defenders of Saddam Hussein without having been authorized.

On 4 September, the spokesman of the Iraqi government announced that the opening of a first trial will be held October 19, just after the referendum on the draft constitution, scheduled October 15. This trial will concern only the death sentence by an Iraqi court and the execution of 148 Shiite village of Dujail in 1982 (whose only "crime" for some, was to have been a member of the secret Islamist organization that had organized the attempted assassination of Saddam Hussein, without themselves actively participated in the attempted assassination), destruction of private property and internal exile for four years, 14 000 inhabitants of this city.

The spokesman also said government if Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death, the sentence could be executed without waiting for the trial to other trials that were planned for other indictments brought to the 'against Saddam Hussein (see Iraq). The death penalty had been abolished in Iraq by the civil administrator of Iraq Paul Bremer and seems to have been reintroduced following the arrest of Saddam Hussein.

On October 19, opening day of the trial, Saddam Hussein defied the court, by not recognizing its authority and pleads not guilty for the Dujail massacre. Witnesses scheduled trial, having too scared to be public witnesses, did not come to Baghdad. The first trial of Saddam Hussein was then adjourned to allow time for them in security conditions. The next hearing was scheduled for November 28 but was again postponed until December 5. On 6 December, Saddam Hussein continues to "disrupt" the trial.

January 23 of 2006, the President of the Tribunal Rizgar Mohammed al-Amin resigned, it is replaced by Raouf Abdul Rahman considered stronger.

On March 15, Saddam Hussein is called by the prosecution as a witness. At the bar, he made a political statement, including claiming that he still considered the President of Iraq, calling on Iraqis to stop the violence between them and fight U.S. troops. The judge then cut off his microphone and following the hearing held in camera.

On 15 May he was formally charged with "crimes against humanity for the Dujail massacre, and refuses to plead, three of his lawyers were murdered during the first days of the trial and Saddam Hussein has challenged all those committed d motion, that the Iraqi special tribunal proposed to replace him, adding that "there was no opportunity to try the President of Iraq," or that "the Iraqi Special Tribunal has no authority, after of the Constitution of the Republic of Iraq, to try the President of Iraq (Saddam Hussein does not recognize the new Iraqi constitution adopted October 15 the year before, "pretext" that she had been "imposed" on with the Iraqi forces occupying foreign).

His lawyers boycotted the trial accusing the court of bias and lack of independence vis-a-vis the political power. Saddam Hussein also refused to be present at the hearings. The presiding judge then ordered the convening of office. Witnesses called by the defense, suspected of having lied to the court, are imprisoned.

On June 19, Jaafar al-Musawi, the Attorney General of the Iraqi Special Tribunal requires the death penalty against Saddam Hussein, against his half-brother Barzan al-Tikriti and cons of former Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan.

Without the benefit of any counsel other than those officially appointed by the court, the Canadian advisor to defense lawyers, William Wiley, who will write the final argument. The latter and the advisor to assist the judges, the U.S. attorney Eric Blinderman, both sent by the U.S. government had a role in ensuring the smooth conduct of the trial to meet international standards and fairness procedure.

On November 5, Saddam Hussein is sentenced to death by hanging for crimes against humanity. According to the Statute of the Tribunal, there will automatically call for this type of conviction. The appeal hearing lasted thirty days.

Several other members of the former Baath party also were tried and sentenced to death or to sentences up to life imprisonment include notably:

* Taha Yassin Ramadan, former Vice-President (hanged March 20, 2007)
* Barzan al-Tikriti, former intelligence chief (executed by hanging on January 15, 2007)
* Awad Ahmed al-Bandar, Deputy Chief of Staff of Saddam Hussein (executed by hanging on January 15, 2007)
* Abdullah Kazim Roueida, the local head of the Baath Party (sentenced to 15 years in prison November 5, 2006)
* Roueida Mezhar Abdullah, head of the local Baath Party (sentenced to 15 years in prison November 5, 2006)
* Daeha Ali Ali, head of the local Baath Party (sentenced to 15 years in prison November 5, 2006)
* Mohammed Azzam al-Ahmed, head of the local Baath Party (acquitted November 5, 2006)

On 26 December, the Iraqi appeals court confirms death sentence of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The appellate court refused to grant the last wish of Saddam Hussein being executed as planned in the former Iraqi constitution for political crimes, and confirmed the execution by hanging, which was reserved in Iraq to human common within thirty days to come.

Many NGOs and many lawyers in the world have denounced the trial. Human Rights Watch said in a report and that it was "flawed, both in form and substance" and "fundamentally unfair". Only a few politicians, almost all American or Iraqi, have described as "absolutely fair".

On December 29, 2006, the world learns by MP Sami al-Askari, a collaborator of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that Saddam Hussein will be executed on the night of 29 to 30 December 2006 or, if later, January 4, 2007 (after Eid el-Adha, the feast of the most sacred Muslim calendar).

On December 30, 2006, former Iraqi president was finally executed in Baghdad at 06 h 05 local time (03 h 05 GMT). Delivered by Americans to Iraqi authorities, they are Iraqis who execute the sentence. Saddam Hussein is led to the gallows, arms and feet shackled, but remains calm and read verses from the Koran. He asked to be uncovered, which was granted. It will accept a scarf to avoid injuries caused by the rope. Throughout the preparation of its execution, (or from) many Shiite officials present at the place of execution the insult, or chanting: "Moqtada, Moqtada", referring to Muqtada al-Sadr, the Leader of the Mahdi Army, whose father, a radical Islamist, was executed on the orders of Saddam Hussein. The Issue of August 8, 2007 on France 2, "One day, one destiny," says that those who shouted the name "Moqtada" were his militiamen, who reportedly paid a "price of gold" to witness the execution but it appears difficult to make judgments about the plausibility of this hypothesis, although supporters of Moqtada al-Sadr have certainly infiltrated a government deemed hostile to the Shiite leader. The scene of the execution was filmed illegally and posted on the Internet. It was taken over by numerous TV stations around the world, chains that seem, for the most censored all or part of the soundtrack.

The hanging of Saddam Hussein put an end to all lawsuits in which it had yet to respond before the Iraqi Special Tribunal, whose seven other procedures, all likely to lead to a death sentence during the series of trials that were in arise if Saddam Hussein was not sentenced to death at his trial before the next one, since all crimes were classified as crimes against humanity (all the crimes ascribed to Saddam Hussein are, for reasons that remain mysterious, pre - 1991, that classification of crimes was essential for there is no requirement). If by some miracle Saddam Hussein had been sentenced to death at his first trial, another trial would therefore have been opened, after which Saddam Hussein might be over the age of 70 years, age from which we can normally run over a condemned in Iraq.

After his execution, the corpse was brought in "Green Zone", the security perimeter of Baghdad, the Prime Minister's residence, which was organized a party with friends to celebrate the hanging. It has subsequently been handed to relatives of former dictator. On 31 December he was buried at 4 h 00 (1 h 00 GMT) in a building built during his presidency and to honor the dead in the center of Awja, 180 km north of Baghdad and 4 km south of Tikrit. It rests with his uncle and his son Uday and Qusay.

Immediately after the execution on the fly triggers a controversy. Many observers denounced a "farce", a "travesty of justice." Thus, according to Antoine Basbous, director of the Observatory of Arab Countries, interviewed on France 3 January 2, 2007, the choice to execute Saddam Hussein on the day of Eid el-Adha was disastrous. Execute Saddam Hussein one day of peace and forgiveness for Sunnis (to the Shiites, Eid was the next day), moreover, a holiday in which we sacrifice an animal, according to him would be a deliberate provocation on the part those who now hold power in Baghdad.

For many analysts, the performance would be an act of civil war that justice, or at least an act of revenge Community:

* The fact that it is a holy day for Sunni and not Shiite;
* The execution took place in a predominantly Shiite neighborhood (Khadamiya) in a barracks of the military intelligence unit known to be infiltrated by the Mahdi Army;
* Prayer of those present was referring to historical Shiite imams.

The Egyptian daily Al-Masri Al-Youm and commented: "The United States has offered Saddam as a sacrifice on the altar of the Iraqi civil war."

Read also Abdallah bin Abd al-Aziz ibn Abd al-Rahman Al Saud

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