Dujail Massacre

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Dujail massacre
LocationDujail, Iraq
Date8 Julie 1982
Attack teep
Judicial reprisals
Daiths142 - 148 Shiite residents
PerpetratorsBaath Regime
MotiveAn unsuccessful assassination
attempt against then
Iraqi preses, Saddam Hussein

The Dujail Massacre refers tae the events follaein an assassination attempt agin then Iraqi preses, Saddam Hussein, on 8 Julie 1982 in Dujail. Dujail, a toun wi a lairge Shiite population an up tae 75,000 residents at the time o the incident is locatit 53 km (33 mi) frae Baghdad in the predominantly Sunni Saladin Province o Iraq.

Backgrund[eedit | eedit soorce]

Dujail wis a stranghauld o the Shiite Dawa Pairty, an organisation involvit in the Iranian backt insurgency agin Saddam Hussein's Baathist dictatorship in Iraq durin the Iran–Iraq War. Widely viewed in the Wast as a terrorist organisation at the time, the Dawa pairty wis bannt in 1980 an its memmers sentencit tae daith in absentia bi the Iraqi Revolutionary Command Cooncil.[1]

Events[eedit | eedit soorce]

On 8 Julie 1982, Saddam Hussein wint tae Gujail fur tae mak a speech giein praise tae local conscripts that haed serrt Iraq in the fecht agin Iran. Saddam visitit several hoosehaulds an efter feenishin his speech prepared for his return tae Baghdad. As his motorcade ganged doun the main road, up tae a dozen gunmen uisin the kiver o the date paum orchards that lined baith sides o the road stairtit firin, killin twa o Saddam’s bodyguards afore fleein on fit. In the ensuin fower-oor fire-fecht maist o the attackers wur killt an several wur captured.[2][3]

Reprisals[eedit | eedit soorce]

Saddam Hussein initially interviewed twa o the captured attackers in body afore orderin his special security an militar forces tae roond up aw suspectit Dawa memmers who livit in Dujail alang wi thair faimilies. He later ordered that orchards on baith sides o the road frae Balad tae Dujail be razit tae prevent a repeat o the ambush.[3] On 14 October 1982, the Revolutionary Command Council ordered that the roadside fermland be retitled tae the Meenistry o Agricultur an the awners compensatit for thair loss.[4]

Bi late December, 393 men ower the age o 19 an 394 weemen an childer frae Dujail an the nearbi toun o Balad haed been arrestit.[5] Held in detention at Abu Graib near Baghdad, an unkent nummer wur tortured wi 138 male adult detainees an ten juveniles bein referred tae trial afore the Revolutionary Court efter thay confessed tae haein taken pairt in the assassination attempt.[6] Ower several months the remainin preesoners wur transferred tae detention centres in the desert tae the wast. Mair nor 40 o those detained dee'd durin interrogation or while in detention.[7] A resident o Dujail later testifee'd at Saddam's trial in 2005, that he haed witnessed the tortur an murthers durin the govrenment reprisal, includin the murthers o 7 o his 10 brithers.[8] efter nearly twa years in detention, aroond 400 detainees, primarily faimily memmers o the 148 who haed admittit involvement, wur sent intae exile tae a remote pairt o soothren Iraq. The remainin detainees wur released an sent back tae Dujail.[6]

Trial an executions[eedit | eedit soorce]

Follaein the 1982 confessions bi 148 o the accused, the judiciary investigatit the evidence in support an in late Mey 1984, acceptit thair pleas o guilty tae traison for providin airmit support for Iran durin the war, allouin the Revolutionary Court tae review the investigation records an confessions afore passin sentence. On 14 Juin 1982, the court haundit doun the mandatory daith sentence. On 23 Julie 1982, Saddam signed the court documents authorisin the executions an ordered that the hames, biggins, date paums an fruit orchards belangin tae those convictit be razit.

On 23 Mairch 1985, 96 o the 105 condemned still livin wur executit. Twa o the condemned wur accidentally released while a third wis mistakenly transferred tae anither preeson an survivit. The 96 executit includit fower memmers o the Abdel-Amir faimily who haed previously been foond no guilty an ordered released. Thay wur insteid mistakenly executit. An investigation recommendit that a decree be issued tae declare the Abdel-Amirs "martyrs" an that property confiscatit frae thair relatives be returned. It faur recommendit that the officer responsible for the mistak be prosecutit. Saddam gae his appruival tae the recommendation wi the officer subsequently bein sentencit tae three years impreesonment an the decree issued.[7]

Ten childer agit atween 11 and 17 wur oreeginally believit tae hae been amang the 96 executit, but thay haed in fact been transferred tae a preeson ootside the ceety o Samawah. In 1989, the ten juveniles, aw nou adults, wur secretly executit on the orders o the Mukhabarat.[7]

Eftermath[eedit | eedit soorce]

The executions in Dujail wur the primary chairges for which Saddam Hussein wis hanged on 30 December 2006.[2][9] At 1 am on 13 December 2006, Barzan Hassan, Hussein's hauf-brither an umwhile Iraqi intelligence chief an Awad Bandar, umwhile heid o Iraq's Revolutionary Court, wur escortit frae thair cells an tauld bi thair American guards that thay wur tae be executit at dawn wi Hussein, nine oors later thay wur returned tae thair cells as Iraqi authorities haed decidit tae execute Hussein alane. Thay wur baith later hangit on 15 Januar 2007 for "aidin an abettin" a creeme against humanity for namin the suspectit Dawa Pairty memmers tae be arrestit.[5][10] Later, Taha Yassin Ramadan, Saddam's umwhile deputy an vice-preses who, as naitional commander o the Popular Airmy haed command responsibility (oreeginally sentencit tae life in preeson but later tae daith bi hangin), wis likwise chairgit wi "aidin an abettin" for arrestin Dawa memmers an razin the orchards. Ramadan wis executit on 20 Mairch 2007, the fowert an last man in the al-Dujail trial tae dee bi hangin for creemes against humanity.[5][11]

The chairges against Saddam Hussein included razin 250,000 acre (100,000 ha) o Dujail fermland. Housomeivver, the soorce for this figur wis an unsourcit claim published in a 2005 New York Times airticle.[12] The claimit area is mairmuckle than the tot amoont o fermland surroondin Dujail, while less nor 2% o the toun's population haed laund confiscatit or razit. Earlier media reports rangit frae thoosans tae a heich o tens o thoosans o acres that no anerlie includit the laund confiscatit frae those convictit, but the laund cleared tae remuive kiver alang the road frae Balad tae Baghdad for which the awners wur compensatit. Thare is nae record o hou mony acres wur actually razit. Ironically, twa o the fower Baath Pairty offeecials executit for the massacre livit in Dujail an the roadside fermland razit includit laund belangin tae baith.[13]

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. Wright, Robin (2001). Sacred Rage: the wrath of militant Islam. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-3342-5.
  2. a b Menendez, James (25 November 2005). "Seeking Justice in Dujail". BBC. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
  3. a b "Saddam video shows calm before storm". CNN. 19 October 2005. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
  4. Revolutionary Command Council Decision Number 1283 dated 14 October 1982
  5. a b c "Judging Dujail (section 7)". Human Rights Watch. 19 November 2006. Retrieved 23 August 2009.
  6. a b "Judging Dujail (section 3)". Human Rights Watch. 19 November 2006. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
  7. a b c "Prosecutors: Saddam approved executions". China Daily. 1 Mairch 2006. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
  8. Witness won't let Saddam intimidate him, The Sydney Morning Herald
  9. At Hussein's Hearings, U.S. May Be on Trial Archived 2007-01-10 at the Library of Congress Web Archives (Znet;1 December 2005).
  10. Report: Hussein's half-brother, other co-defendant hanged CNN January 15, 2007 accessed via Wayback Machine June 15, 2012
  11. Saddam's former deputy hanged in Iraq 20 March 2007
  12. Burns, John (3 Julie 2005). "A Town That Bled Under Hussein Hails His Trial". New York Times. Retrieved 3 December 2009.
  13. Stephens, Eli (26 Mey 2006). "Dujail - searching for the facts". Uruknet. Retrieved 3 December 2009.