Sentenced to death – Saddam Hussein found guilty of war crimes on this day in 2006
On Nov. 5, 2006, dictator Saddam Hussein was found guilty of the murder of 148 people in Dujail, north of Baghdad, and sentenced to death by hanging.
On that day, according to the New York Times, “Spontaneous celebrations broke out across Iraq in spite of an around-the-clock curfew imposed on the capital and other regions. People fired pistols and assault rifles into the air in a common gesture of jubilation. Residents of Sadr City, a Shiite bastion in northeastern Baghdad, flooded the streets in defiance of a curfew, whooping and dancing and sounding car horns. Even some Shiite police officers joined in the revelry, firing their weapons in the air.”
Hussein, the deposed president of Iraq, was captured by the United States on Dec. 13, 2003 and charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in connection with happened after a failed assassination attempt on him in Dujail in 1982.
More than 140 people were accused of participating in the plot to kill Hussein. His motorcade had been attacked when he was leaving after making a speech. Most of those who attacked the motorcade were killed and several were captured. After Hussein interviewed those who were captured, he ordered that anyone suspected of being a member of the Shiite Dawa Party be rounded up. They were held captive, tortured, exiled and executed.
On March 19, 2003, the United States and coalition forces, initiated a war with Iraq, which was under the control of President Saddam Hussein.
“At this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger,” said President George Bush.
According to biography.com, “Saddam Hussein was a secularist who rose through the Baath political party to assume a dictatorial presidency. Under his rule, segments of the populace enjoyed the benefits of oil wealth, while those in opposition faced torture and execution.”
Hussein had been given a deadline to leave Iraq. Instead, he went into hiding.
On April 9, 2003, television audiences around the world watched as a statue of him in Firdos Square in Baghdad was brought to the ground by U.S. Marines.
Iraqi people then decapitated the statue and dragged it through the streets.
In December of 2003, Hussein was captured. He was found living underground in a hole about eight feet deep.
He was charged in July 2005 with the 1982 Dujail massacre.
In August 2006 he was charged with the genocide of Iraqi Kurds in the late 1980s. Hussein was executed on Dec. 30, 2006.
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