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Trial in Iraq

Iraq's historical roots date back almost 8,000 years to Mesopotamia -- the "cradle of civilization." Iraq was placed under a United Kingdom mandate by the League of Nations in 1920 and stayed under British authority until it became an independent state in 1932 (PDF).

"Welcome to the Post-Cold-War Era," ca. 1990 Saddam Hussein, shortly after his capture in 2003. U.S. Department of Defense photo, not available for reproduction

The Baathist Party gained power in Iraq in 1968, and Saddam Hussein took over the party and country. He ruled Iraq until he was ousted in 2003. In May 2003, the United Nations Security Council voted to lift nonmilitary sanctions on Iraq and recognized the Coalition Provisional Authority in Resolution 1483 (PDF).

The international community has repeatedly accused Saddam Hussein of war crimes, genocide and atrocities during his reign in Iraq. Some of the allegations include using poison gas against Iranians during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, dropping chemical weapons on Halabja, which killed up to 5,000 people and committing crimes against humanity and possibly genocide against the Marsh Arabs and Shi'a Arabs in southern Iraq, as well as against Iraqi Kurds in northern Iraq.

Saddam Hussein's regime was toppled in early 2003. Eight months later, on Dec. 13, 2003, the United States military captured Hussein. The prosecution of Saddam Hussein is being carried out in the Green Zone in Baghdad in a well-protected courtroom. The trial began in October 2005.

The Law Library of Congress, the largest library of legal materials in the world, has mounted a Web site dedicated to the trial of Saddam Hussein. Here, you can obtain excellent information of the history of Iraq, its culture and the trial of its former leader.

The Law Library also makes available other topical Web sites, such as one devoted to the three most recent Supreme Court nominations, those of John Roberts, Samuel Alito and Harriet Miers.

A. Herbert Block (Herblock), creator. "Welcome to the Post-Cold-War Era," ca. 1990. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction information: Reproduction No.: LC-DIG-ppmsca-03069 (digital file from original) LC-USZ62-132861 (b&w film copy neg.); Call No.: Unprocessed in PR 13 CN 2002:201 [item] [P&P]

B. Saddam Hussein, shortly after his capture in 2003. U.S. Department of Defense photo, not available for reproduction.