Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

22 January 2014

Iraq: Another spike in executions with 38 hanged in last four days

Iraq: Another spike in executions with 38 hanged in last four days
At least 38 people were executed in Iraq since Sunday.

At least 38 people were executed in Iraq since Sunday.

© APGraphicsBank


The increasing use of the death penalty in Iraq will only fuel more violence as many of those executed are often convicted after grossly unfair trials.
Source: 
Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme.

Reports have emerged today of 12 secret executions carried out by the Iraqi authorities, bringing the number of prisoners put to death since Sunday to 38, Amnesty International said.

“The increasing use of the death penalty in Iraq will only fuel more violence as many of those executed are often convicted after grossly unfair trials,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme.

“The only way to deal effectively with the security threats faced by the country is for the Iraqi authorities to address their deeply flawed justice system, in which ‘confessions’ extracted under torture are used as evidence in court and the execution of prisoners is routine.”

On 21 January the Iraqi Ministry of Justice issued a statement confirming that the authorities had executed 26 men on Sunday, two days earlier. One of these was Adel al-Mashehadani, known to have carried out a number of sectarian attacks, according to the Justice Ministry.

Amnesty International has confirmed through independent sources that at least 12 further men were also executed.

The organization also learnt that on the same day, the presidency’s office ratified around 200 cases of people sentenced to death, paving the way for their executions to be carried out. In Iraq, all judicially confirmed death sentences need to be ratified by the presidency before they can be implemented.

Most of those executed on Sunday, all of them Iraqi men, were convicted on charges of terrorism, under the draconian 2005 Anti-Terrorism Law.

Amnesty International fears that the Iraqi authorities may be using the current violence in al-Anbar governorate to speed up executions to demonstrate their efforts to protect civilians against terrorism and attacks by armed groups.

The executions come less than a week after the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on the Iraqi authorities to put a moratorium on executions, during a visit to Iraq.

The call was strongly rejected by Iraqi Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki, who said in a joint press conference that the authorities “do not believe that the rights of someone who kills people must be respected”.

Campaigns

Abolish the death penalty  

Issue

Death Penalty 

Country

Iraq 

Region

Middle East And North Africa 

@amnestyonline on twitter

News

11 April 2014

There are mounting fears over the fate of  a man who went missing 11 days ago after tweeting pictures of an attempted jail break in Abuja, Amnesty International said today... Read more »

08 April 2014

Rick Perry must stop Wednesday’s execution of Ramiro Hernández Llanas, a Mexican national with a mental disability.

Read more »
14 April 2014

The early release in Viet Nam of several prisoners of conscience is welcome, but serves to highlight the situation of at least 70 others who remain jailed for peacefully... Read more »

09 April 2014

A new resource to arm lawyers, defendants and the judiciary with the tools to fight against unfair trials and injustice is published by Amnesty International today.

Read more »
16 April 2014

Ten years after serving a full sentence for his revelations to the press about Israel’s nuclear weapons programme, Mordechai Vanunu still faces severe restrictions that... Read more »