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Iraq: 42 people executed in last two days

‘Confessions’ obtained under torture … make it very likely that innocent people have been put to death in Iraq’ - Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui

The Iraqi authorities must immediately halt all executions, Amnesty International said after 42 people were executed in the country in just the last two days.

According to a statement by Iraq’s Ministry of Justice, 41 men and one woman have been executed in the last two days after being convicted under the country’s draconian 2005 Anti-Terrorism Law.

Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui said:

“The escalation in the number of executions in recent days is an extremely alarming development.

“Executing 42 individuals in the same week as the World Day Against the Death Penalty shows the determination of the authorities to rely on the death penalty in total disregard of international criticism.

”Death sentences continue to be imposed after grossly unfair trials. ‘Confessions’ obtained under torture on which convictions are based make it very likely that innocent people have been put to death in Iraq.”

At least 125 people have been executed in Iraq so far this year, making it one of the world’s most prolific executioners - after China and Iran.

In Iraq hundreds of civilians continue to be killed every month in attacks by armed groups, with schoolChildren's rights and Shi’a pilgrims targeted in the latest wave of bombing attacks. However, Amnesty pointed out that there is no convincing evidence that the death penalty acts as a special deterrent, and the organisation urged the Iraqi authorities to focus on effective solutions to address the violence in the country.

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