saddam Hussein museum, saddam Hussein iraq museum

Iraq to Open Saddam Hussein Museum

December 31, 2008 10:57 AM
by Denis Cummings
Iraq will open a museum displaying objects and documents chronicling the horrors of former dictator Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Museum to Chronicle Saddam Hussein’s Abuses

On Tuesday, the second anniversary of the execution of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, it was announced that Iraq will open a museum documenting Hussein’s crimes and human rights abuses. Iraq’s High Tribunal, which sentenced Hussein to death, will open the museum in two months.

The museum, which will be housed in a 92-by-26-foot hall inside a warehouse in Baghdad’s Green Zone, will contain bloody nooses, torture devices, Hussein’s personal belongings and other objects from Hussein’s regime. It will also feature a research center with 26 million documents held on computers.

The goal of the museum is educate the Iraqi people about Hussein’s brutal 24-year rule and, according to the Daily Mail, “send a clear message that even the most feared dictator cannot hope to evade justice.”

“We thought that people might forget the works committed by dictators who committed horrible acts against them,” said High Tribunal Judge Arif Abdul Razak al-Shaheem. “This is not related to national reconciliation. This museum is about history. History must not be forgotten.”

Background: The reign of Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein became Iraq’s president in 1979 and brutally repressed his own people during a 24-year rule. “Saddam’s most horrific atrocities were the acts of brutality he meted out against fellow Iraqis,” wrote Aamer Madhani in the Chicago Tribune. “His henchmen amputated the tongues of those who criticized him. He ordered the systematic annihilation of tens of thousands of Kurds. … Tens of thousands of Shiites were killed by forces loyal to Saddam during the uprisings in southern Iraq following the U.S.-led invasion in 1991.”

The museum will illustrate these atrocities through displays of bloodstained nooses and torture devices used to punish dissidents and political enemies. One of the museum’s most gruesome exhibits will be a body-shaped steel cage used by Saddam’s son Uday to torture athletes. Uday Hussein, who served as head of the Iraqi National Olympic Committee, was notorious for beating and torturing athletes who did not perform up to his expectations.

The museum will also feature a computer archive of Hussein’s documents, including “the actual maps for attacks by the Ministry of Defence on Kurds, how the planning was done to wipe out the village,” according to The Times of London.

Hussein was forced from power after the United States invaded in 2003, due in part to his record of human rights abuses. He was arrested by U.S. forces on Dec. 13, 2003 after he was discovered hiding in a foxhole. The museum will display the objects Hussein kept with him in the foxhole, which include “a landline telephone, a copy of the Quran, two novels, a slightly battered briefcase and three tapes” of “Mozart, the Quran and a mix tape of Iraqi gypsy tunes,” according to The National of UAE.

Following his capture, Hussein was put on trial for crimes against humanity before the Iraqi Special Tribunal. He was sentenced to death and executed Dec. 30, 2006. The museum will display the chairs in which Hussein and his co-defendants sat during the trial, as well as court documents.

“You will find it all [the evidence]. … We are going to put all the documents [from the trial], the final decision and the execution order here, you will find it all,” a museum worker told The National. “People will be able to see his guilt for themselves.”

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