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Iraq: Hundreds facing execution in Iraq

, Index number: MDE 14/037/2009

The Iraqi authorities are preparing to execute hundreds of prisoners, including 17 women. They have exhausted all their appeals, and could be put to death at any time.

UA: 324/09 Index: MDE 14/037/2009 Iraq Date: 03 December 2009
URGENT ACTION
HUNDREDS FACING EXECUTION IN IRAQ
The Iraqi authorities are preparing to execute hundreds of prisoners, including 17 women. They
have exhausted all their appeals, and could be put to death at any time.
More than 900 people, including 17 women, are currently reported to be on death row in Iraq and to have exhausted
all forms of appeal. Their death sentences are said to have been ratified by the Presidential Council, meaning that
they could be executed at any time.
At least 120 people are known to have been executed so far in 2009, and it appears that the Iraqi authorities intend
to carry out these executions in advance of national elections scheduled for January (although these elections are
now likely to be delayed) despite national and international pressure against the use of the death penalty in Iraq.
The condemned prisoners have been convicted of offences such as murder and kidnapping, but many of them are
likely to have been sentenced after unfair trials.
The 17 women are likely to include a group who had been awaiting execution at the 5
th
section (al-Shu’ba al-
Khamissa) of Baghdad's al-Kadhimiya Prison. They were the subject of UA 195/09, MDE 14/019/2009, 21 July
2009.
Iraqi press reports suggest that the government wants to present itself as being tough on crime and capable of
overcoming the difficult security situation in the country before the national elections in 2010. Opposition
politicians have expressed concern that executions may be carried out to allow the ruling party to gain political
advantage ahead of the elections, and have called on the government to temporarily suspend all executions.
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in English or your own language:
Expressing concern that hundreds of people are facing imminent execution
Urging the authorities to put an immediate stop to these executions and commute all death sentences
Urging them to establish an immediate moratorium on executions
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 14 JANUARY 2010 TO THE IRAQI EMBASSY OR DIPLOMATIC
REPRESENTATIVE IN YOUR COUNTRY, ASKING FOR THEM TO BE FORWARDED TO:
President
Jalal Talabani
Salutation: Your Excellency
Vice-President
Tariq al-Hashimi
Salutation: Your Excellency
Vice-President
‘Adil ‘Abdul Mahdi
Salutation: Your Excellency
And copies to:
Prime Minister
Nuri Kamil al-Maliki
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above
date.
Date: 03 December 2009
URGENT ACTION
HUNDREDS FACING EXECUTION IN IRAQ
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Since the reintroduction of the death penalty in August 2004, at least 1,000 people have been sentenced to death and scores
have been executed. There are no official figures for the number of prisoners facing execution or the number of executions that
are carried out. So far in 2009 at least 120 people have been executed. After all avenues of appeal have been exhausted, death
sentences are referred to the Presidential Council, composed of the President and the two Vice-Presidents, for ratification, after
which they are carried out. The President, Jalal Talabani, opposes the death penalty and delegates his ratification powers to the
two Vice-Presidents, who do not oppose the use of the death penalty. Once their death sentences have been ratified by the
Presidential Council, condemned prisoners can be executed at any time.
UA: 324/09 Index: MDE 14/037/2009 Issue Date: 03 December 2009

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