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Saddam Hussein hanging documented on video
Saddam Hussein hanging documented on video

[JURIST] Video [via AP] and pictures released by Iraqi state television Saturday confirmed the execution [JURIST report] of Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive; BBC obituary] which took place around 6 AM Saturday local time (10 PM Friday ET) at an Iraqi facility nicknamed Camp Justice [ backgrounder] in Baghdad's Shiite neighborhood of Kazimiyah. Hussein, who had been held by the US military with other high-security detainees at Camp Cropper [Wikipedia backgrounder] near Baghdad International Airport, was transported to the facility and transferred to the custody of his Iraqi executioners.

The video shows Hussein holding a Quran as his Iraqi guards wrap a piece of black cloth around Hussein's neck as he approached the gallows. Dressed in a black suit, hat and shoes, Hussein reportedly initially resisted his Iraqi executioners but then grew calm. Iraqi state television shows footage of Hussein's guards wearing ski masks, who proceed to place a noose around his neck. He repeated a prayer after a Sunni Muslim cleric but refused to have a hood pulled over his head moments before the execution. Actual footage of his execution has not been released. Sami al-Askari, political adviser to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, told AP that Hussein shouted, "God is great. The nation will be victorious and Palestine is Arab." Pictures on Iraqi television showed a body identified to be Saddam Hussein [AP report] after the execution, his head uncovered and the neck twisted at a sharp angle while lying on a stretcher and covered in a white shroud. AP has more. BBC News has additional coverage.

Al-Askari says that Hussein's body will most likely be buried in a secret place [Reuters report] in Iraq. Although Hussein's exiled daughter Raghad wants her father buried in Yemen, the Iraqi government will probably refuse her request. An Iraqi government official speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity earlier this month predicted the secret burial [JURIST report] and stated that no monument would be built for Hussein.

9:45 PM ET – An unofficial and quite grainy video of the entire execution sequence [alternate version], with sound [credible translation from Arabic here via Digg], is now available online via Google Video. It appears to have been shot with a cell-phone camera by a witness to the hanging. WARNING: some images may be disturbing.