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Iraq delaying 'Chemical Ali' execution until after Ramadan

[JURIST] The Iraqi government will intentionally miss a 30-day deadline to execute former Iraqi defense minister Ali Hassan al-Majid [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], also known as "Chemical Ali," choosing instead to delay the execution until after the Islamic holy month of Ramadan ends. The BBC reported Wednesday that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki was considering delaying the execution [BBC report] to avoid another controversy like the one that arose when Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] was executed during the Eid al-Adha holiday [JURIST reports] last December. The 30-day time frame to execute al-Majid began last month when an Iraqi tribunal upheld his death sentence [JURIST report], and will expire Thursday. The Iraqi government is seeking "a legal path" to execute al-Majid when the month of Ramadan ends next week.

Al-Majid and two co-defendants were convicted and sentenced to death [JURIST report] for their roles in the slaughter of tens of thousands of Kurds during the 1988 Anfal campaign [HRW backgrounder]. Al-Majid is currently on trial [JURIST report] on separate crimes against humanity charges for his alleged role in the violent suppression of a predominately Shi'a uprising [HRW backgrounder] in southern Iraq following the 1991 Persian Gulf War. The UK Telegraph has more.

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