Death penalty increases in Iraq
Amnesty International highly concerns about increase in the use of capital punishment in Iraq
Luther says that if the government really wants to protect civilians from violence, the Iraqi authorities must investigate abuse and bring those responsible to justice in a fair system, without recourse to capital punishment.
According to records kept by human rights observers, including Amnesty International, almost 500 people have been hanged since 2005. At least 50 people were executed during the first quarter of this year.
According to international reports, the Iraqi Ministry of Justice misleadingly stated that the death sentences of 23 prisoners in September and another 42 in October had been reviewed and confirmed by the Court of Cassation before they were hanged.
"The authorities in Iraq must stop their reliance on the death penalty, by immediately declaring a moratorium on executions as a first step and commuting all death sentences to prison terms," said Luther.
However, the Iraqi authorities believe those who have been executed are criminals and that the UN and other international institutions have no right to interfere in Iraqi internal affairs.
Amnesty International fights the death penalty in all cases, without exception, as a violation of the right to life.
Amnesty International highly concerns about an increase in the use of capital punishment in Iraq.