<!img src="gfx/titlephoto_cp_7422256.jpg" width=470 height=300 alt="An Iraqi girl gets a close look at an Iraqi National Guardsman patrolling Haifa Street in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, April 7, 2005. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)" border="0">
The first case:
CBC News Online | October 18, 2005
July 8, 1982. Iraq has been at war with Iran for about two years, a bid to keep the Iranian revolution from crossing the border. The war has not been going well for Iraq lately.
Sheik Faris Amin stands with his mother, 73-year-old Safiya Ahmed Hussain, at their home in Dujail, Iraq, May 26, 2003. Amin was one of the gunmen who tried to kill Saddam Hussein in 1982. Safiya lost four of her children in the retribution that followed the attack and was herself sent to prison for several years where she nearly lost her eyesight. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
President Saddam Hussein decides to visit the town of Dujail, a Shia enclave about 40 kilometres north of Baghdad, to drum up support for the war.
Saddam greets residents in the streets, visits the home of a local family, and addresses a cheering crowd outside the Baathist party headquarters. He thanks the sons of Dujail for their courage in the battle against Iran.
But as Saddam�s motorcade pulls out of town, there�s a major deviation from the script. Gunmen open fire. Saddam�s bodyguards return fire, killing most of the gunmen.
Instead of speeding out of town back to Baghdad, the motorcade turns around and heads back into Dujail. Saddam gives another speech, promising to root out a small group of traitors responsible for the act. He says they are agents of foreigners. He is photographed personally interrogating two people.
The reaction to the attempt on Saddam�s life is quick � and brutal.
Saddam�s troops round up dozens of suspects. In the next few days, a full-scale military operation unfolds, involving tanks and aircraft. Hundreds more people are rounded up.
It�s not clear what happened next. Some of those who were rounded up were eventually released and returned to Dujail � after being left in the desert. At least 143 men and teenaged boys were never seen again. It�s believed some may have been held for three years before they were executed.
Some of those arrested were women and children. Date groves belonging to the families of people arrested were destroyed. Homes were bulldozed.
Iman-Sen Araji and her husband, Abbas, a teacher of Islamic law, and their five children were among those arrested. Araji's husband was executed sometime around 1985. But her ordeal continued for years. She gave birth to her sixth child in Abu Ghraib prison.
Saddam Hussein, July 1, 2004. (AP Photo/Karen Ballard/Pool)
After she and her family were released, there was more punishment. They were banished.
�They took us out and put us in the desert,� she told CBC News. �We were far from our families, from our city. It is just a desert. We are imprisoned. What kind of life is that?�
For three years, she and her family � and many others from Dujail � were confined to a prison camp in Iraq's southern desert. Many died under the harsh conditions. Eventually they were able to return to a changed town.
Residents of Dujail say as many as 200 people are still missing. The people who still live there are hoping the trial of Saddam and his seven co-defendants, brings them some answers.
It�s believed officials chose this case as the first to take to the special tribunal because it is the most straightforward to prosecute.