12 found guilty in al-Dujail wedding massacre hanged today24/11/2011 16:25
Baghdad, Nov. 24 (AKnews) - Twelve men found guilty in the infamous al-Dujail massacre, where an al-Qaeda affiliated group killed about 70 people in a wedding party, have been hanged in one of Baghdad's prisons today, undersecretary of the Justice Ministry Pusho Ibrahim said Thursday.
Iraq's criminal court found 34 men guilty of the massacre 15 of whom were sentenced to death in June this year. The other of the original 15 have not been hanged yet due to legal procedure, according to Ibrahim.
Ibrahim told AKnews taht "thsi morning, the Ministry [of Justice] ordered the execution of 12 of the perpetrators of the Dujail wedding party massacre after receiving presidential decree on Wednesday"
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani - who has always refused to sign death warrants on moral grounds - authorized his deputy, Khudair al-Khuzaie, in June this year to sign the death sentences of the 15 men in his place after intense pressure from the political blocs and the Iraqi public to bring the perpetrators of “terror” crimes against the population to justice.
Talabani is well-known for his objection to capital penalty - he famously refused to sign the warrant for the hanging of Saddam Hussein, who was responsible for the murder of thousands of his fellow Kurds and against whom he led a guerrilla war.
In 2006, the group carried out one of the worst attack at the height of the sectarian war in teh country; the systematic killing of a wedding party celebrating the marriage of a Shiite man and a Sunni woman in the town of Taji, north of Baghdad, before disposing of their bodies in the Tigris river.
Tens of thousands having died in 2006 and 2007 as a result of the brutal sectarian war.
Police said the insurgents first detonated a bomb across the road the party was travelling along, so as to force them to travel along a side street.
They separated the women, the men, and the children and raped all the women, then hung massive weights around the necks of the 15 children, who were aged between two and 12 years old, and threw them in the river to drown, according to police accounts.
The new bride was raped in front of her husband, and all the men in the wedding party were made to stand along a bridge crossing the river, with each receiving a single gunshot to the back of their head and their bodies being flung into the water with the force of the bullet.
The bride was slashed in the chest and left to bleed to death.