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Iraq defendants appeal convictions in Anfal genocide case

[JURIST] Five defendants convicted for their roles in the slaughter of tens of thousands of Kurds during the 1988 Anfal campaign [HRW backgrounder] have filed appeals with the Appeals Chamber of the Iraqi High Tribunal [official website], Iraqi prosecutors said Monday. The five defendants, two of whom received life sentences and three of whom received the death sentence [JURIST report], filed their appeals last week. The three defendants' death sentences were subject to an automatic review by the Appeals Chamber, and if the sentences are upheld, they will be executed within 30 days. Saddam Hussein's cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid [BBC profile] is among the three defendants sentenced to death.

In late June, al-Majid received a total of five death sentences for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Al-Majid has repeatedly denied the allegations against him [JURIST report], saying that he does not know who used chemical weapons or "if they were ever used." Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh has said that al-Majid will be executed in the Kurdish town of Halabja [JURIST report], where a gas attack [US State Department backgrounder] killed over 5,000 people. DPA has more. Voices of Iraq has local coverage.

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