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Saddam Refuses to Address Atrocities Charges

Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein gestures during the first day of the Anfal trial on Aug. 21, 2006 in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, Iraq.
Daniel Berehulak
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Getty Images
Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein gestures during the first day of the Anfal trial on Aug. 21, 2006 in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, Iraq.

Saddam Hussein refuses to give his name or enter a plea on charges of crimes against humanity, as his second trial begins Monday. Along with six others, Saddam is accused of using chemical weapons in a scorched-earth operation that killed thousands in the late 1980s.

This second trial for the deposed Iraqi leader will focus on what is known as the Anfal Campaign: a years-long military operation against Iraq's Kurds. As punishment for rebellions, at least 50,000 Kurds were killed and thousands of others were forcibly sent to detention camps. Their villages were subsequently razed.

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Ivan Watson
Ivan Watson is currently based in Istanbul, Turkey. Following the 9-11 terrorist attacks, he has served as one of NPR's foreign "firemen," shuttling to and from hotspots around the Middle East and Central Asia.