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'Chemical Ali' to be executed in Halabja to mark gas attack: Iraq Deputy PM

[JURIST] Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh announced Saturday that Ali Hassan al-Majid, often called "Chemical Ali", will be hanged in the Kurdish town of Halabja where a notorious 1988 gas attack [US State Department backgrounder] by Saddam Hussein's forces during the 1988 "Anfal campaign" led to the deaths of over 5000 Kurds, many of them children. In late June, al-Majid received a total of five death sentences [JURIST report] for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in connection with the campaign. He has repeatedly denied the allegations against him [JURIST report], stating that he does not know who used chemical weapons or "if they were ever used." The appeals chamber of the Iraqi High Tribunal [official report] is currently considering al-Majid's appeal; if it is denied, Iraqi law stipulates that he be executed within 30 days.

Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] was also a co-defendant in the Anfal genocide trial [JURIST news archive] before he was executed in December 2006. Iraqi officials had previously suggested that al-Majid would be executed in Kurdistan [JURIST report], but had not indicated precisely where. AFP has more.

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