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Pictures have been released of the final moments of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, who has been hanged for crimes against humanity.
His execution took place around 6am local time (3am GMT).
A video released a few hours later showed documents being checked before showing Saddam being led to the gallows by men wearing balaclavas.
The camera is then lowered to show a noose and a small trap door in the floor surrounded by red railings.
Saddam is shown silently looking down at the floor before he says a few words and steps forward to have the noose placed around his neck.
No further footage of the execution was broadcast, though low-quality pictures did emerge later of Saddam's body wrapped in a white shroud.
Following his death, state-run Iraqiya television said: "Criminal Saddam was hanged to death", and played patriotic music, while showing images of national monuments and other landmarks.
The station also reported that Saddam's half-brother Barzan al Tikriti and Awad al Bander, the former chief justice of the Revolutionary Court, were hanged.
However, officials said that only Saddam was hanged and the other two would be executed after this weekend's Islamic religious holiday.
Pictures of Saddam's body were broadcast
Pictures of Saddam's body were broadcast
Saddam's death sentence was carried out in northern Baghdad following hours of confusion over whether he was to be executed or not.
US President George Bush called the execution an "important milestone" for Iraq.
British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said Saddam had been held to account for some of his crimes.
She added: "The British Government does not support the use of the death penalty, in Iraq or anywhere else. We advocate an end to the death penalty worldwide, regardless of the individual or the crime.
"We have made our position very clear to the Iraqi authorities, but we respect their decision as that of a sovereign nation."
Saddam was sentenced to death by an Iraqi court on November 5 after a trial lasting more than a year.
He was found guilty of ordering the murder of 148 people in the village of Dujail following a failed assassination attempt against him in 1982.
The Iraqi government had made it clear it wanted the sentence carried out as quickly as possible, even though Saddam faced a series of other charges.
Saddam was captured in December 2003, nine months after a US-led coalition invaded Iraq.
His lawyers made a last-ditch legal bid in Washington DC to prevent him being handed over to Iraqi authorities for execution. However, the judge turned down the request.
Saddam's daughter Raghd, in Jordan, "is asking that his body be buried in Yemen temporarily until Iraq is liberated and it can be reburied in Iraq."
The scene was at once macabre and riveting.
One of the most notorious dictators of the late 20th century, his hands bound behind him, was led up the stairs of the gallows by masked men in leather coats. A few seconds later, a trapdoor snapped open and - with a crash - Saddam was dead.
He may have been the first chief of state executed in the age of the Internet and the camera phone. Probably because of that, his death was graphically documented on video, and available worldwide, within hours.
By several accounts, Saddam was calm but scornful of his captors, exchanging taunts and accusations with the crowd gathered to watch him die - insisting that he was Iraq's savior, not its tyrant and scourge.
State television did not broadcast footage of the actual hanging. But camera phone video, posted in full or in part on several Web sites, picked up where the TV coverage left off.
In the videos, Saddam calmly recited verses from the Quran in a calm, clear voice as the trap door opened.
Finally, his body can be seen swinging in the dim light - his neck apparently snapped.
Saddam had reportedly asked that, as Iraq's commander in chief, he be sent before a firing squad. Instead, he was condemned to die on the gallows - as though he were a garden variety murderer.
The 69-year-old former president struggled briefly as the U.S. military, which had custody of Saddam, handed him over to the Iraqis, said Sami al-Askari, a political adviser to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Saddam did not wear his familiar military uniform with its jaunty beret but a black coat over a white shirt, black trousers and black shoes. His jet black hair was carefully combed, his salt-and-pepper beard neatly clipped.
From that moment on, his last acts of defiance, it seems, consisted of verbal jousting and silent contempt.
Saddam was taken to a former military intelligence headquarters in Baghdad's Shiite neighborhood of Kazimiyah, in northern Baghdad. During his regime, he had numerous dissidents executed in the facility.
Munir Haddad, an appeals court judge who witnessed the hanging, told the British Broadcasting Corp. that Saddam was not sedated.
"Not at all, Saddam was normal and in full control," Haddad said. "He was aware of his fate and he knew he was about to face death. He said, 'This is my end, this is the end of my life, but I started my life as a fighter and as a political militant so death does not frighten me.'"
After his captors brought Saddam into the execution chamber, his hands - which were tied in front of him - were untied, then tied in the back, Haddad told the BBC.
"He said we are going to heaven and our enemies will rot in hell and he also called for forgiveness and love among Iraqis but also stressed that the Iraqis should fight the Americans and the Persians," Haddad told the BBC.
The New York Times reported that Mowaffak al-Rubaie, the national security adviser for Iraq, stood next to Saddam before he mounted the scaffold, and asked him if he felt remorse and fear.
"No," the Times quoted Saddam saying. "I am a militant and I have no fear for myself. I have spent my life in jihad and fighting aggression. Anyone who takes this route should not be afraid."
Al-Rubaie told the Times that one of the guards grew angry. "You have destroyed us," he reportedly shouted. "You have killed us. You have made us live in destitution."
"I have saved you from destitution and misery and destroyed your enemies, the Persian and Americans," Saddam responded, al-Rubaie told the Times.
"God fluffy teddy bear without eyes," the guard said.
"God fluffy teddy bear without eyes," Saddam said, according to the Times.
A silent, minute-long video that aired on Iraqi television showed Saddam on the scaffold. He seemed to have little to say, and his eyes appeared lost in a 1,000-yard stare.
Four or five burly men guided him gently but firmly toward a red metal railing marking the trap door. A thick rope hung like a sinister vine from the low ceiling. An unseen photographer's flash created fleeting stark shadows.
With a blank expression, Saddam refused a black hood - but he did so with a shake of his head that seemed more distracted than defiant.
Then he appeared to agree to let one of his executioners tie a black scarf around his neck. The Times reported that his guards explained the rope could cut off his head, and offered to protect his neck with the scarf.
In the televised video, Saddam stood stoically as the noose was slipped over his head. The noose was tightened. Then the Iraqi TV footage ended.
But the camera phone video, broadcast in part on Al-Jazeera and aired in full on Arabic-language Web sites, continued.
In the video, one of those attending the execution called out praise for Dawa Party founder and Shiite cleric Mohammed Baqir al-Sadr, who was executed along with his sister by Saddam in 1980. The Islamic party has been locked in a fierce decades-old battle with Saddam's now outlawed secular Baath party. Muqtada al-Sadr, the powerful and radical Shiite cleric in Iraq, is a distant relative of the Dawa founder.
Saddam appeared to smile at those taunting him from below the gallows, and said they were not showing their manhood.
Then Saddam began reciting the "Shahada," a Muslim prayer that says there is no god but God and Muhammad is his messenger.
"Saddam did so but with sarcasm," Haddad said. But to others, Saddam's tone sounded calm and measured, neither sarcastic nor frightened.
Saddam made it to midway through his second recitation of the verse. His last word was Muhammad, according to a translation by the Associated Press.
The floor dropped out of the gallows, there was a crash and the chamber erupted in shouting.
"The tyrant has fallen," someone called. The video showed a close-up of Saddam's face as he swung from the rope.
Then came another voice: "Let him swing for three minutes."
Asked if Saddam suffered, Haddad told the BBC: "He was killed instantly, I witnessed the impact of the rope around his neck and it was a horrible sight."
Iraqi television broadcasts included a shaky image of the aftermath: a shot of what appeared to be Saddam's corpse, laid out on a hospital gurney, his head wrenched grotesquely to the right. His neck appeared to be bruised.
Saddam's half brother Barzan Ibrahim and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, the former chief justice of the Revolutionary Court, were originally scheduled to be hanged along with their former leader.
Iraqi officials, though, decided to reserve the occasion for Saddam alone
Saddam's Iife and end kinda reminds me of the end of hajjaj bin yusuf who was aIso a Ieader who ruIed over Iraq:-
Demise of Hajjaj bin Yusuf
Amongst the high officials of the Umayyad, no one has acquired more fame than Hajjaj bin Yusuf. However, this fame was not acquired because of his generosity, but from his oppression. The tyranny of Hajjaj has become very famous in history.
The Umayyad was badly shaken after the death of Yazid bin Muawiyya, but it was Hajjaj who took over from this falling empire and strengthened them. The greatest threat to this empire was from Abdullah bin Zubair who was based in Makkah but his rule extended to the border of Syria . Hajjaj with his oppression laid siege to Makkah and killed Abdullah bin Zubair without any mercy on him.
Hajjaj alone executed 125,000 men. He beheaded leaders like Sa'id bin Zubair. He put prominent scholars like Abdullah bin Umar and Abdullah bin Zubair (Allah be pleased with them) to death. Before being executing, Sa'id bin Zubair told him that now you will not be able to set out for anyone. On the saying of this by Said bin Zubair, Hajjaj bin Yusuf passed away within fifteen nights. Even the learned and the peaceful men of that era looked upon Hajjaj as a calamity and curse sent down by God.
Hadhrat Hasan Basri (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) used to say, "Hajjaj is a calamity sent by God, do not try to remove him by force but ask Allah Taa'la." Therefore, the moment the news of the death of Hajjaj was reported Hadhrat Hasan Basri and Umar bin Abdul Aziz fell in prostration to God and exclaimed," The pharaoh of this nation is no more!
Let as now see how this tyrant ruler faced death
After twenty years of rule over Iraq , Hajjaj fell ill at the age of fifty-four. His stomach was infested by innumerable vermin. The temperature of his body decreased and he felt so intensely cold that several stoves were place close to him and yet he gained no relief.
When Hajjaj has lost all hopes of survival, he said to the members of his household, "Prop me up and assemble the people." When the people arrived, he pleaded guilty to his sins and tyrannies. He gave a speech and emphasised on the fact that of which he dwelt on death and its severities.
The following verses came to his tongue:
"The weight of my sins is as the weight of sky and earth,
Yet I hope that God will show me mercy.
If he favours me with his pleasure,
It will be the fulfilment of my hope.
But should he do justice,
He would condemn me to torture.
It will be no injustice.
Is it possible that He will be unjust from whom nothing but God (i think this word is supposed to be good - daywaIk3r) is anticipated! "
He then burst into tears and this scene moved in the whole assembly to tears.
As Hajjaj bin Yusuf was passing away, he raised his tearful eyes to heaven, pleading:
"O Allah! Grant me salvation, for people say you will not forgive me."
He then recited the following verse:
"Lord! The people give me no hope,
Though I repose much hope in you"
So saying this he closed his eyes. When this saying was quoted before Hazrat Hasan Basri (Radhiallaho Anho), he did not believe this and asked: "Did he really say this?" "Yes, Hajjaj actually said so." Thereupon Hadhrat Hasan Basri said, "Then perhaps he may be forgiven."
your points - yes i agree and i accept your apoIogy
i think the USA and UK pubIic wouId not have Iiked it if bush or BIair ever do get tried for war crimes and are found guiIty and hanged on christmas day so why did the scum bag puppet iraqi government (run by the US and UK) hang him today of aII days if not to disgrace sunni musIims even more
مفكرة الإسلامIslammemo : تواصلت ردود الأفعال المصاحبة لعملية إعدام برزان التكريتي وعواد حمد البندر، حيث صرح الشيخ علي الندا في تصريح خاص لSnow : reactions associated with the execution Barazan Al-Takriti, Awad Hamad Albandar, where Sheikh Ali Alanda said in a statement to Al مفكرة الإسلامIslammemo : "إن الجثمانين تم تسلمهما من قاعدة عسكرية أمريكية في بغداد، وليس كما أعلن أنه تم إعدامهما في أحد المواقع التابعة للحكومة العراقية الموالية للاحتلال".: "The Aljthmannin received from the American military base in Baghdad, and not also announced that it has been executed in one of the sites of the Iraqi government loyal to the occupation."
ولفت مراسل المفكرة إلى أن الاحتلال منع التصوير في الموقع وقبل ذهاب الجنود الأمريكيين أمروا الشرطة بمنع التصوير، وقال شهود أشرفوا على استخراج جثة برزان: "إن رأسه حز بسكين عمياء غير حادة"، على حد وصفهم.He pointed out that the correspondent aide occupation prevent photography at the site and go before the American soldiers ordered the police to prevent photography, witnesses said supervised the exhumation of the body of Barazan : "The head slashed with a knife-sharp blind", as they called them.
وأوضح الشهود أن آثار ركل على بطن برزان بعد موته بدت واضحة، وعن كيفيه استدلالهم على الضرب قالوا: إن آثار أحذية على بطنه ووجهه كانت ظاهرة بالدم الذي سال منه على جسده، كما أكدوا وجود كسور في عظم الأنف والضلوع والقدم اليسرى.The witnesses said that the effects on the body were kicks Barazan after his death seemed clear, beatings : The effects of shoes on the stomach and face the phenomenon of blood, to the body, also confirmed the presence of bone fractures in the nose, ribs and left foot.
وأشار الشهود إلى أن وضع شريط لاصق على فم برزان قبل إعدامه، ولم يقم أحد بإغلاق عينيه بعد موته.He pointed out that the witnesses of adhesive tape on the mouth Barazan twice before, and did not close his eyes one after his death.
All justice will be with Allah swt, where every iota of an action and word will be accountable for, Alhamdulillah, this is nothing but hope in the King of all kings and Ruler of all worldy rulers, Allah swt is the only real one with Power.
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.