On this day December 30, 2006

Deposed President of Iraq Saddam Hussein, convicted of the executions of 148 Iraqi Shiites, is executed by hanging.

saddam_hussein_at_trial_july_2004Saddam Hussein was President of Iraq from July 16, 1979 until April 9, 2003, when he was deposed during the 2003 invasion of Iraq by U.S.-led Allied Coalition.

After his capture in ad-Dawr, near his hometown Tikrit, he was incarcerated at Camp Cropper. On November 5, 2006, he was sentenced to death by hanging.

On December 30, 2006, he was taken to Camp Justice to be executed. The Iraqi government released an official videotape of his execution, showing him being led to the gallows, and ending after his head was in the hangman’s noose.

International public controversy arose when an unauthorized videophone recording of the hanging showed him falling through the trap door of the gallows.

The audio, which was not in the official video, revealed taunts between Saddam and the executioners, many of whom were strong supporters of Muqtada Al-Sadr, an Iraqi theologian, political leader and militia commander who is a strong opponent of the Coalition Provisional Authority, the succeeding (and current) Shiite dominated Iraqi government and the overall idea of the presence of the United States in Iraq.

The unprofessional and undignified atmosphere of the execution drew criticism around the world from nations that both oppose and support (and employ) capital punishment, including the Bush Administration.

On December 31, 2006, Saddam Hussein’s body was returned to his birthplace of Al-Awja, near Tikrit, and was buried near the graves of other family members.

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