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'Chemical Ali' executed in Iraq for ordering gassing of Kurdish village

[JURIST] Iraqi officials on Monday executed [press release, in Arabic] Ali Hassan al-Majid [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], better known as "Chemical Ali," for ordering the Kurdish village of Halabja gassed in 1988. Government spokesperson Ali al-Dabbagh stated that al-Majid had committed crimes of mass murder and premeditated bodily harm against the Iraqi population. Al-Majid was convicted [JURIST report] earlier this month of ordering the gassing and sentenced to death. The gassing, which killed 5,000 Kurds, was part of the wider Anfal campaign [JURIST news archive] against Kurds in Iraq during the Saddam Hussein regime, and is considered one of the worst attacks on the ethnic minority.

Al-Majid had received three prior death sentences. In March, al-Majid received his third death sentence [JURIST report] for his role in the 1999 killings of protesters who rioted in Baghdad and Amarah following the alleged assassination of Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr. In December 2008, the Tribunal sentenced al-Majid to death [JURIST report] for his involvement in the repression of Shiites in southern Iraq during the Saddam regime. Al-Majid was also sentenced to death for another killing of Kurdish Iraqis using chemical weapons during the Anfal campaign.

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