Iraq unearths mass grave of Kurds killed by Saddam Hussein

Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had ordered the killing of hundreds of Kurds. (AFP /POOL/Chris Hondros)
Updated 14 April 2019

Iraq unearths mass grave of Kurds killed by Saddam Hussein

  • The grave was found in the desert about 170 km west of the city of Samawa
  • Up to 180,000 people may have been killed during Saddam’s “Anfal” campaign that targeted Iraqi Kurds

SAMAWA, Iraq: Iraq must never forget Saddam Hussein’s crimes or allow his party to return, President Barham Salih said on Sunday after attending the unearthing of a mass grave of Kurds killed by the former leader’s forces three decades ago.
The grave, found in the desert about 170 km west of the city of Samawa, contained the remains of dozens of Kurds made to “disappear” by Saddam’s forces, Salih’s office said.
They were among up to 180,000 people who may have been killed during Saddam’s “Anfal” campaign that targeted Iraqi Kurds in the late 1980s when chemical gas was used, villages were razed and thousands of Kurds were forced into camps.
“He killed them because they did not accept the continuation of this regime, because they wanted to live a free and dignified life,” Salih, a Kurd, told a news conference at the grave site.
“He brought them to Samawa to bury them but our people in Samawa embraced them,” Salih added. Iraq’s southern provinces are predominantly inhabited by Shiite Arabs, who also suffered oppression and mass killings under Saddam, a Sunni Arab.
“The new Iraq must never forget these crimes that were committed against Iraqi people from all groups,” he said.


Bashir defense asks Sudan court for bail release

Updated 52 min 32 sec ago

Bashir defense asks Sudan court for bail release

  • Bashir, wearing a traditional white gown, sat in the same metal cage he appeared in on Monday when his trial on graft charges opened
  • The former Sudanese leader is also wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague over his role in mass killings in the western region of Darfur

KHARTOUM: Sudan’s deposed military ruler Omar Al-Bashir appeared in court Saturday for the second hearing of his corruption trial, during which his defense asked for his release on bail.
Bashir, wearing a traditional white gown, sat in the same metal cage he appeared in on Monday when his trial on graft charges opened.
The judge in Khartoum Saturday heard three witnesses, two of them investigators who searched Bashir’s residency after his ouster and the other a banker.
“We ask the court to release the accused on bail,” Bashir’s lawyer Hashem Abu Bakr said, to which the judge answered he would examine a written request.
After the hearing, as a massive security convoy escorted the 75-year-old Bashir back to prison, two opposing groups of demonstrators had gathered.
One group of a few dozen protesters were chanting slogans for Bashir to face justice not just over corruption but for his role in the the country’s deadly conflicts.
“Bashir is a killer” and “He has to face justice,” chanted some of the demonstrators.
Another smaller group had turned out in support of the deposed Islamist general, who was forced from power by relentless protests in April after 30 years in power.
While the sight of Bashir sitting inside a cage in a courtroom was unthinkable only months ago, many in Sudan and abroad have warned that this trial should not distract from the more serious indictments he faces.
The former Sudanese leader is wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague over his role in mass killings in the western region of Darfur.