On the two-year anniversary of Saddam’s death by hanging, Iraq is preparing to open a new museum that will allow Iraqis to see up close such macabre mementos of mass executions, torture, and other atrocities committed in Saddam’s decades-long rule.
Iraq’s High Tribunal, set up after the U.S.-led invasion to try major crimes from Saddam’s Baathist government, will open the museum in the two months in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone.
It will showcase torture devices such as a man-shaped metal cage where, in the Iraqi Olympic Centre, Saddam’s son Uday used to lock underperforming athletes for weeks at a time — and set them naked under the burning sun, the metal searing their flesh.
There is a steel bar from an intelligence center, with a specially welded hook from which countless Iraqis were hung.
It will include personal effects found with Saddam when he was discovered hiding on an Iraqi farm in December 2004, including a Quran, a cassette recording of Mozart, a dusty black briefcase.
Chairs will be on display that were sat in by Saddam and his top lieutenants during their High Tribunal trials, including the one that ended in Saddam’s execution for killing 148 men and boys following an assassination attempt in 1982.