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Rights group claims 'Chemical Ali' linked to Basra massacre

[JURIST] New York-based monitoring group Human Rights Watch [official website] said Thursday that new documents it recovered in Iraq after the US-led invasion show that Ali Hassan al-Majid, known as "Chemical Ali" [BBC profile] for his alleged role in the gassing of Iraqi Kurds in the late 1980s, was involved in the massacre of at least 120 men during a ant-Saddam revolt in Basra in 1999 [text]. The information could lead to a new charges against several members of Saddam Hussein's [Wikipedia profile; JURIST Newsmaker] Baath Party, including Majid himself. Hussein is believed to have ordered the 1999 assassination of revered Shiite cleric Ayatollah Mohammed Sadeq al-Sadr [Wikipedia profile] which led to an uprising in the south of the country. Human Rights Watch says Majid supervised the systematic executions, arbitrary arrests, and widespread torture that followed. Majid could be among the first of Hussein's inner circle to go to trial before the Iraqi Special Tribunal [governing statute] for war crimes which could result in a sentence of death. Read the Human Rights Watch report and recommendations for the Iraqi government. AFP has more.

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