‘Chemical Ali’ executed in Iraq

Former Iraqi official Ali Hassan al-Majid has been executed in Iraq, the BBC is reporting.

Majid, referred to as an “enforcer” in Saddam Hussein’s regime, was put to death for several crimes- one of which is believed to have resulted in the deaths of around 5,000 Iraqis, mostly women and children. Majid was convicted of killing Shia Muslims in 1991 and 1999, and a gas attack on a town called Halabja in 1988.

Majid refused to cooperate at his trials for crimes against Iraqi people, declining to enter a plea, and at one point saying:

“I am the one who gave orders to the army to demolish villages and relocate the villagers. The army was responsible to carry out those orders. I am not defending myself. I am not apologising. I did not make a mistake.”

Majid, first cousin to Hussein, was Ba’athist Iraqi Defense Minister, Interior Minister, military commander and chief of the Iraqi Intelligence Service and governor of Kuwait during its Iraqi invasion. Majid was captured during the invasion of Iraq by US forces in 2003, and subsequently tried for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.