A former Iraqi politician and current civil rights campaigner has put the rope used in the 2006 execution of former dictator Saddam Hussein up for sale. The bid reportedly stands at $7 million, but Mowaffak al-Rubaie is asking for more.
According to Middle East Eye, a hefty bidding war for the item reportedly includes an Israeli family, a religious Iranian organization, and a pair of Kuwaiti businessmen.
Rubaie had put the item up for sale after an image of him standing in front of a bronze bust of Iraq’s former leader with a portion of the rope tied around the bust’s neck surfaced. The statue reportedly once belonged in Hussein’s palace in Rihab. Now, it is a fixture in the foyer of Rubaie’s Baghdad home.
The impending sale of the rope has also incited anger from Iraqi activists, who demanded that the proceeds from the auction go into public finances. Iraqi activist Ahmed Saeed reportedly said the rope was “appropriated” by Rubaie after Hussein’s “much-criticised execution,” and that any profits were “not his [to keep],” Middle East Eye notes.
The story of the bidding was originally reported by London-based website Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.
Video footage of Saddam’s execution had been leaked to the public after what Rubaie described as “ill-educated security guards” recorded the incident on their cell phones. Rubaie said the leak was “extremely damaging on all fronts.”
After 23 years of dictatorial rule, Hussein was sentenced to death by hanging when the Iraqi Special Tribunal found him guilty of crimes against humanity. The Kurdish Judge Raouf Abdul Rahman was reportedly kidnapped and executed by ISIS militants last year in retaliation for ordering Saddam Hussein’s execution.
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