Iraq: Reimposition of death penalty is a step backwards

Amnesty International said:

“The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. It violates the fundamental right to life, is irrevocable and can be inflicted on the innocent.”

Government officials announced on Sunday that capital punishment would be reinstated for a range of crimes including murder, drug trafficking and endangering national security.

Amnesty International acknowledges the grave security situation in Iraq. The Iraqi Interim Government has a duty to protect the lives of Iraqi citizens and residents in Iraq and to ensure their security. However, the organisation does not regard the reimposition of the death penalty as the appropriate response to this challenge. The death penalty has never been shown to deter crime more effectively than other punishment.

Amnesty International works for an end to executions everywhere in the world and has frequently urged the Interim Government of Iraq not to reinstate the death penalty and to consider abolishing it on a permanent basis.

Amnesty International said:

“If the Interim Government of Iraq resumes executions, it will be moving against the global trend towards abolishing of death penalty. Over half the countries in the world have now abolished it in law or practice. In the past decade, more than three countries a year on average have abolished the death penalty for all crimes.”

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