The final ignominy for any prison governor must surely be to be hanged in his own prison. That’s what happened on September 20th, 1959, when Abdul Ayub, former governor of Baghdad Central Prison, was hanged there.

In 1959, not for the last time, Iraq was in turmoil. In the previous year the pro-West monarchy was overthrown and a pro-Soviet military government seized power. On Sunday, September 20th, 1959, the new government began its revenge on the old regime. Thirteen army officers accused of plotting to restore the monarchy were executed by firing-squad, while four civilians were hanged in Baghdad Central Prison

They were Said Qazzaz, the former interior minister; Bahjat Attiah, former director of public safety; Abdul Fehmi, former governor of Baghdad, and Abdul Ayub, ex-governor of the prison.

All were accused of torture and murder under the old regime. The new military government lasted until 1963, and was followed by a period of civilian democracy. Five years later another left-wing dictator took over. He lasted until 1979, when Saddam Hussein came to power.