Iraq mulls hanging 'Chemical Ali' in Kurdish region

July 15, 2007 - 0:0

BAGHDAD (AFP) -- Iraq is considering hanging "Chemical Ali" in its northern Kurdish region if an appeal court confirms his death sentence for the slaughter of ethnic Kurds, a government official said.

"Thousands of our Kurdish people have requested that Chemical Ali be hanged in Kurdistan," said Bassim Ridha, an advisor to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. "The government is considering these requests. However his sentence is still to be certified by the appeals court," he told AFP. Ali Hassan al-Majid is a cousin of executed dictator Saddam Hussein and is widely known as "Chemical Ali" because of his use of poison gas against Kurdish communities during a 1988 campaign against separatists. He was sentenced to death by hanging for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, on June 24 by an Iraqi court. Two other aides of Saddam were also sentenced to death along with Majid. A nine-member appeals panel is currently reviewing their sentences and is expected to make it ruling in the near future. If the appeals chamber certifies the court's sentences, the three will be hanged within 30 days as per Iraqi law. Kurds in northern Iraq rejoiced over the verdict, and many of them demanded that Majid be brought north for execution. The brutal Anfal campaign of 1988 saw bombings, mass deportation and gas attacks in which an estimated 182,000 Kurds were killed and 4,000 villages wiped out