Iraq: 28 people executed after apparently hasty, unfair trials

Amnesty International has called for an immediate moratorium on executions in Iraq after 28 people were executed this week after what appear to have been hasty and unfair trials.

Amnesty International said:

“Those executed were arrested in clashes that took place in the past three weeks. For them to be arrested, sentenced and executed within such a short period raises serious concerns about the trial process.

The Iraqi authorities must disclose all relevant information about these trials, including whether those executed had access to legal representation or not.”

Amnesty International has repeatedly expressed its concerns about the trials conducted by criminal courts in Iraq, whose procedures fall short of international standards for fair trials.

The death penalty has been used extensively in Iraq since its reintroduction in 2004 and hundreds of people have been sentenced to death after grossly unfair trials. At least 199 people were sentenced to death in the country last year alone.

Amnesty International added:

“The Iraqi government argued in 2004 that reinstating capital punishment would curb the widespread violence in the country.

“The reality, however, is that violence has continued unabated and the death penalty has not been a deterrent.”

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all circumstances as a violation of the right to life and as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

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