Document - Iraq: Further information: ‘Confessions’ retracted, but execution looms

URGENT ACTION

Further information on UA: 14/10 Index: MDE 14/008/2013 Iraq Date: 7 June 2013

URGENT ACTION

‘CONFESSIONS’ RETRACTED, BUT EXECUTION LOOMS

Eleven men sentenced to death in Iraq in 2010, convicted of involvement in causing bomb explosions, are now known to have had their application for a retrial rejected by the Court of Cassation on 26 March 2013. They could be executed at any time.

The 11 men (named in the additional information) were sentenced to death by Branch 2 of the Resafa Criminal Court in Baghdad on 14 January 2010 after they were convicted under the Anti-Terrorism Law in connection with the August 2009 bombing of the Iraqi Foreign Ministry in Baghdad, where more than 100 people were killed. The 11 men were sentenced to death after an unfair trial and their convictions were based on coerced “confessions”.

According to the court judgment, all 11 men “confessed” to membership of al-Qa’ida and taking part in the bomb attacks while held in pre-trial detention. However, during the trial they withdrew those “confessions” and alleged that they had been coerced by torture and threats. The court also noted that some of them also alleged that they had tried previously to retract their “confessions” when they were taken before an investigating judge, with the result that they were returned to their interrogators and subjected to further torture until they consented to repeat their “confessions” before the investigating judge and defence lawyers appointed to represent them by the court. Despite this, the contested “confessions” were admitted as evidence and the court used them to convict the defendants.

Their death sentences are understood to have been ratified by the presidency in January 2012. Their defence lawyer filed a request for a retrial in August 2012, and submitted affidavits from defendants in other trials who alleged that they had been tortured by interrogators and forced to falsely incriminate the 11 men accused of involvement in the bomb attacks. On 26 March 2013 the Court of Cassation turned down the application for a retrial.

Please write immediately in Arabic, English or your own language:

Expressing concern that the 11 men (naming them) have been sentenced to death after a trial that failed to meet international standards for fair trial;

Urging the authorities to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the 11 men’s allegations that they were tortured and coerced into “confessions” and to be informed about the findings of such investigation;

Urging the Iraqi authorities to declare an official moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty, and to commute without delay all death sentences.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 19 JULY 2013 TO DIPLOMATIC REPRESENTATIVES OF IRAQ IN YOUR COUNTRY, ADDRESSED TO:

Prime Minister and Acting Minister of Defence and Interior

His Excellency Nuri Kamil al-Maliki, Prime Minister

Convention Centre (Qasr al-Ma’aridh)

Baghdad, �Iraq

Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister of Human Rights

His Excellency Mohammad Shayaa

al-Sudani

Convention Centre (Qasr al-Ma’aridh)

Baghdad,

Iraq

Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:

Minister of Justice

Hassan al-Shammari

Convention Centre (Qasr al-Ma’aridh)

Baghdad, �Iraq

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the third update of UA: 14/10. Further information: http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE14/002/2012/en

URGENT ACTION

‘CONFESSIONS’ RETRACTED, BUT EXECUTION LOOMS

ADditional Information

Iraq is one of the world's leading executioners, as the government continues to battle against a high level of violence by armed groups. Hundreds of prisoners are on death row. In 2012 a sharp rise in executions was recorded in Iraq making it the country with the third highest number of executions in the world for that year. At least 129 people were executed, almost twice the known total for 2011. During the first four months of 2013 at least 40 people were executed.

More than 100 people were killed in the bombing of the Iraqi Foreign Ministry on 19 August 2009, also called the Bloody Wednesday bomb attacks, and more than a thousand were wounded. Many of the casualties were civilians. The 11 men are: Mustafa Muhammad Abbas Farhan, his brother Ishaq Muhammad Abbas Farhan, Saddam Hussein Abbas Farhan, Misar ‘Ali Salman Nasir, Ali ‘Abd al-Sada Sakran Ziyad, Salim ‘Abd al-Jassim Muhammad Mustaf, Kilan Kamil ‘Ali Sharqi, ‘Assim Mazin Hussein Hamid, Firas ‘Abdallah Fathi ‘Abd al-Rahman, ‘Abd Al-Qadir Naji Hussein and Hamid Hudair Thuweini Mahdi.

Amnesty International previously named Wissam ‘Ali Kadhem Ibrahim as one of the 11 men: this was incorrect. Following the attack “confessions” by its various alleged perpetrators were broadcast by TV stations. In one, shown by al-Iraqiya TV on 23 August 2009, detainee Wissam Ali Kadhim Ibrahim was seen “confessing” to membership of a Ba’thist group that he said perpetrated the attack, but not to involvement in the attack itself. The Iraqi authorities have not responded to Amnesty International's requests for information about Wissam Ali Kadhim Ibrahim's current legal status and whereabouts.

Amnesty International has documented numerous cases of death row inmates in Iraq who were convicted of terrorism or other serious crimes on the basis of “confessions” that defendants say were coerced from them under torture when they were detained without access to lawyers or any contact with the world outside their place of incarceration. For further information please see the report Iraq: A decade of Abuse (http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE14/001/2013/en) and the following Amnesty International video entitled Iraq’s lethal confession culture (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCfEnbDKp2I).

Names: Mustafa Muhammad Abbas Farhan, Ishaq Muhammad Abbas Farhan, Saddam Hussein Abbas Farhan, Misar ‘Ali Salman Nasir, Ali ‘Abd al-Sada Sakran Ziyad, Salim ‘Abd al-Jassim Muhammad Mustaf, Kilan Kamil ‘Ali Sharqi, ‘Assim Mazin Hussein Hamid, Firas ‘Abdallah Fathi ‘Abd al-Rahman, ‘Abd Al-Qadir Naji Hussein and Hamid Hudair Thuweini Mahdi

Gender m/f: m

Further information on UA: 14/10 Index: MDE 14/008/2013 Issue Date: 7 June 2013

image1.png

How you can help

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE