Archive for the ‘execution’ Category

‘Chemical Ali’ sentenced to death in Iraq

December 2, 2008

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 التكريتيtransliteration: 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 ... 
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.

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China’s execution of alleged spy harms rights dialogue: EU

November 29, 2008

The European Union condemned Friday China’s execution of a scientist accused of spying for Taiwan, warning of damaging consequences for dialogue with Beijing on human rights.

“The European Union condemns in the strongest terms the execution of Mr Wo Weihan,” a statement said. “This execution seriously undermines the spirit of trust and mutual respect required for this EU-China dialogue on human rights.”


Ran Chen -- the daughter of scientist Wo Weihan -- in Beijing ... 
Ran Chen — the daughter of scientist Wo Weihan — in Beijing on November 26, 2008. The European Union condemned Friday China’s execution of the scientist who was accused of spying for Taiwan, warning of damaging consequences for dialogue with Beijing on human rights.(AFP/File/Peter Parks)

The EU underscored that it “comes just after the conclusion in Beijing of the EU-China human rights dialogue, in the course of which the EU reiterated its strong opposition to the death penalty and once again raised the case of Mr Wo Weihan and requested that he be pardoned.”

The 27-nation bloc also deplored the conditions under which Wo had been detained and tried and said it regretted that China had ignored numerous calls to defer the execution and commute the death sentence.

China executed the 59-year-old scientist on Friday, his daughter told AFP.

Wo was based in Austria from 1990 to 1997, and his daughter has Austrian citizenship. He was arrested in 2005 in Beijing on accusations of passing information of a military nature to Taiwan. He had said he was innocent.

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China’s private firms set sights on rest of world

March 16, 2008
Amid the torrent of clothes, electronics and toys surging out of China comes a little-noticed export: international companies.

For centuries, individual Chinese have sought their fortunes abroad, creating Chinatowns around their restaurants and shops. Now, Chinese firms are going global, pushed by a government embracing capitalism, pulled by untapped markets and armed with bundles of money from a thriving economy back home.

Auto plants are popping up in Latin America. A sprawling commodity bazaar promises a provincial Swedish city new life. A car parts distributor is snapping up ailing companies in the U.S. Rust Belt, a TV factory hums in South Africa and a high-tech firm is landing contracts to revamp the Persian Gulf’s telecommunication networks.

Just as the earlier arrival of Japanese companies changed U.S. manufacturing, over time Chinese companies could affect how their Western rivals approach innovation, competition and business itself.

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North Korea Executes 15 People

March 5, 2008

(Seoul, South Korea) (AP) — North Korea publicly executed 15 people who attempted to flee the country or helped others escape, a warning aimed at stemming the growing flow of refugees to China, an aid group said Wednesday.

The two men and 13 women were executed Feb. 20 by firing squad on a bridge in Onseong, a northeastern town on the border with China and Russia, the Good Friends private aid organization said in its regular newsletter.

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Bush draws Vietnam parallel in warning over Iraq withdrawal

August 22, 2007

MONTEBELLO, Canada (AFP) – US President George W. Bush in a speech on Wednesday will warn that a US withdrawal from Iraq could produce a catastrophe similar to what occurred in Southeast Asia after US forces left Vietnam.

According to excerpts from Bush’s address released in advance on Tuesday, the US president was to charge that an early exit from Iraq would “pull the rug out” from under US troops just as their efforts are paying off.

Bush’s speech ties anti-war forces in the Vietnam era to the hundreds of thousands of people killed in the aftermath of the US pull-out….

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An American flag hangs on the ceiling as US soldiers set off on an air assault on board a Chinook helicopter as part of Operation Marne Husky, along the Tigris river.

China: Guilty Again of Cruel and Unusual Punishment

July 10, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
July 10, 2007

China’s state television and the official Xinhua News Agency said that China had executed Zheng Xiaoyu the former State Food and Drug Administration director.

Zheng Xiaoyu managed China’s operation to review and approve food and drugs from 1998 until 2005.

During Zheng’s tenure his agency approved six medicines that turned out to be fake, and the drug-makers used falsified documents to apply for approvals, according to previous state media reports.  One antibiotic caused the deaths of at least 10 people.
Photo courtesy of Xinhua.

Zheng, 63, was convicted of taking cash and gifts worth $832,000 when he was in charge of the State Food and Drug Administration.

At the time of his conviction, nearly all China watchers predicted that his sentence would be downgraded to life imprisonment, which is frequently the practice in such cases. In fact, in recent memory, there are no known senior officials that actually met their executioners even after a death sentence.

This execution was a needless act of cruelty to assuage the fears of the west about Chinese-made products and to “save face” for the Chinese leadership.

Listen to how China’s government spokesman characterized the execution.

“The few corrupt officials of the SFDA are the shame of the whole system and their scandals have revealed some very serious problems,” agency spokeswoman Yan Jiangying said at a news conference held to highlight efforts to improve China’s track record on food and drug safety.

SFDA stands for the State Food and Drug Administration.

So China, to lesson its own shame and to regain its market share, heartlessly executed a bureaucrat whose crime was looking the other way for less than a million dollars.

We deplore this killing as a needless and wonton abuse of human rights.  This one man is not the cause or source of China’s massive breakdown of proper procedures, checks and balances. His death adds nothing to China’s reputation and does nothing to restore western confidence in China’s products.


China Planning a Surreal Facade for Summer Olympic Games: Beijing 2008