Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq with an iron fist – part 1 of 2

Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein became notorious for his oppression of dissidents and minorities. The Anfal campaign targeting the Kurdish minority bombed villages and killed thousands with chemical weapons. He led the country in wars against Iran and Kuwait, wars that are believed to have cost millions of lives. Saddam Hussein himself lived in luxury in golden luxurious palaces. He was recognized by his large mustache, often carrying a fat cigar in the corner of his mouth and firing rifles in the air with one hand at mass meetings. As president, he nationalized the country’s oil industry and raised living standards in Iraq, but above all favored his own Sunni Muslim group. His eldest son Uday Hussein was described as a symbol of brutal rule, he raped women, punished footballers who did not deliver in the national team and is said to have had his own torture chamber. Following the US-led invasion in 2003, Saddam Hussein was overthrown. Although many see Saddam’s time in power as a reign of terror, he is still hailed today as a strong leader in parts of the Middle East.

In Part 2 of the story of Saddam Hussein, you hear about the trial against him, the execution and the legacy he left behind in Iraq.

About Saddam Hussein:

Born outside Tikrit, Iraq.

Took power in 1979 and began a bloody purge within the ruling Ba’ath party.

Attacked Iran and Kuwait and waged a brutal campaign against the Kurdish minority.

Deposed after the US-led invasion in 2003.

Found hidden in a hole outside his hometown Tikrit.

Sentenced to death and executed by hanging in 2006.

Participants: Cecilia Uddén and Johan Mathias Sommarström, Middle East correspondents, Shaho Mwany who himself experienced Saddam Hussein’s attack on the Kurdish city of Halabja

Host: Johar Bendjelloul

Producer: Katja Magnusson

Technician: Lisa Abrahamsson






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