Posted: 18 February 2010
Responding to news that Danny Fitzsimons’ trial on murder charges in Iraq has been delayed until April, Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:
“We’ve always said that it’s right that private military and security contractors are held fully responsible for any alleged wrongdoing when they’re working in places like Iraq, but we’re seriously concerned about this case.
“Iraq has a dreadful record of unfair capital trials and there is a real danger of Danny Fitzsimons being sentenced to death after a shoddy judicial process.
“At the very least we want to see the Iraqi authorities ruling out capital punishment in his case.”
Iraq is one of the biggest users of the death penalty in the world and Amnesty recently revealed that Iraq is preparing to execute approximately 900 prisoners, including 17 women.
The 900-plus prisoners have exhausted all their appeals and their death sentences are said to have been ratified by the Presidential Council, meaning that they could be executed at any time. The condemned prisoners have been convicted of offences such as murder and kidnapping, but many are thought to have been sentenced after unfair trials.