Death Penalty Watch – 128 awaits execution in Iraq

16 Mar

According to a latest Amnesty International statement, ‘Iraq urged to stop the execution of 128 prisoners on death row’, the Iraqi government is planning on executing 20 death row prisoners at a time starting from next week.

The international human rights organisation estimated that at least 34, 33 and 65 people were executed in 2008, 2007 and 2006 respectively. At least 285 and 199 were sentenced to death in 2008 and 2007.

Like most countries that have been critised for the death penalty, the Iraqi government has kept the figures and identities of those being sentenced secret. Amnesty International has also questioned the fairness of the trials of those sentenced to death with many likely to have been convicted of their crimes through torture.

Recent prominent cases include Saddam Hussein’s half-brothers, former Interior Minister Watban Ibrahim al-Hassan and director of public security Sabawi Ibrahim, sentenced to death for crimes against humanity. 28 members of a cult, Followers of the Mahdi, have also been sentenced to die for brutal attacks against Shiite followers in Iraq.

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