The man who attempted to eliminate Iraq’s minority Kurds with chemical weapons, “Chemical Ali,” has been sentenced to die by an Iraqi court.
Ali Hassan Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (Arabic: علي حسن عبد المجيد التكريتي transliteration: ʿAlī Ḥasan ʿAbd al-Majīd al-Tikrītī, born 1941) is a former Ba’athist Iraqi Defense Minister, Interior Minister, military commander and chief of the Iraqi Intelligence Service. He was also the governor of occupied Kuwait during the Gulf War.
A first cousin of former President of Iraq Saddam Hussein, he became notorious in the 1980s and 1990s for his role in the Iraqi government’s campaigns against internal opposition forces, namely from its ethnic Kurdish rebels of the north, and the Shia religious dissidents of the south. Repressive measures included deportations of the population and mass killings; al-Majid was dubbed “Chemical Ali” by Iraqi Kurds for his use of chemical weapons in attacks against them.
A special Iraqi court sentenced Saddam Hussein‘s notorious cousin, “Chemical Ali” Hassan al-Majid, to death Tuesday after convicting him of crimes against humanity for his part in crushing the 1991 Shiite uprising in southern Iraq.
Al-Majid already faces death by hanging after being convicted last year for his role in the killing of tens of thousands of Kurds in a crackdown in the late 1980s. But that execution has been delayed by legal wrangling.
In this Jan. 8, 2007 file photo, Saddam Hussein’s cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid, known as ‘Chemical Ali,’ for his alleged use of chemical weapons against Iraqi Kurds, listens to prosecution evidence during the Operation Anfal trial, in Baghdad, Iraq. A special Iraqi court has sentenced Saddam Hussein’s cousin, known as ‘Chemical Ali,’ to death for his role in the 1991 suppression of a Shiite uprising Tuesday, Dec, 2, 2008. Ali Hassan al-Majid already faces death by hanging after being convicted last year for his role in the killing of tens of thousands of Kurds in a crackdown in the late 1980s. But that execution has been delayed by legal wrangling.(AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic, Pool)
Former Baath party official Abdul-Ghani Abdul-Ghafur also received a death sentence at the end of the trial, which began in August 2007. He shouted, “Down with the Persian-U.S. occupation!” as the sentence was read.
“Shut up, you dirty Baathist,” snapped chief judge Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa, referring to Saddam’s mostly Sunni Baath party.
The trial was one of five convened against former leaders of Saddam’s regime, which was ousted in the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. Two are still ongoing.
In the first trial, Saddam was convicted of crimes in the killing of more than 140 Shiites after an assassination attempt against him in Dujail.
He was hanged in December 2006.
After Saddam’s defeat in the 1991 Gulf War, Shiites in southern Iraq and Kurds in the north rose up against his regime and seized control of 14 of the country’s 18 provinces. U.S. troops created a safe haven for the Kurds in three northern provinces, preventing Saddam from attacking.