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Iraq: 88 executed over terrorism charges in 2016

December 30, 2016: The Iraqi authorities executed 88 terrorists convicts in 2016, despite the international calls to stop this punishment in this country.

At the beginning of 2016, Iraqi Justice ministry announced the execution of the first convict on 3 February, after three years of his conviction and issuance of capital punishment against him.

On 24 May, 2016, 22 convicts were executed after the approval of the Iraqi president on the verdicts, but no details were given on their identities. In 3 July, the Shiite parties attacked the Iraqi presidency and government for not executing terrorist convicts following an explosion in mid of Baghdad (Karrada area) that resulted in killing 300 and wounding 200 more, according Iraqi Health Ministry estimates.

After one day of Karrada explosion, Iraqi Justice Ministry announced executing 5 terrorists, thus the total of the executed convicts reached to 37 till that date.

The Justice Ministry used to execute criminals without determining dates in order not to stir the criticism of the international ant-death penalty organizations.

On 5 July, Justice Minister announced executing two convicted terrorists, as well as announcing on 18 July, 2016 that the number of the executed convicts reached to 45.

Due to the internal criticism against Iraqi President Foad Ma'soum, it was announced on 13 July the approval on execution verdicts against terrorist, without announcing their numbers.

On 23 July, Premier Haidar al-Ibadi formed a governmental committee to "finalize the dossiers of death-convicted criminals and expedite endorsing and implementing them".

On 21 August, Justice Ministry announced the execution of 36 convicts following Spicher's massacre. The convicts were executed in Nassiriya Central Prison, Thi Qar province, south east of the country, thus the total figure jumped to 81 convicts. According to official Iraqi sources, about 1700 military cadets in Spicher Base were killed on 12 June, 2014, following Da'ish (ISIS) control of Tikrit city, Salahal-din province, north of Baghdad, where Da'ish gunmen controlled the air academy and killed the cadets present there.

On 31 August, 2016, 7 convicts were also executed in Nassiriya Central Prison. It was reported that the convicts were from Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, the Sudan, Palestine, Syria and Jordan.

By this last convicted group, the figure reached to 88 executed convicts, according to official sources.

On the other side, the Justice Ministry disclosed that there are about 300 death-convicts in Iraqi prisons, but the execution verdicts were not implemented till now.

The Iraqi government restored death punishment in 2004, after its suspension following the entry of the US forces into Iraq in 2003.

The return of the executions stirred international anti-death-verdicts and called for their abrogation.

According to UNAMI reports, more that 12.000 Iraqis were killed, mostly military and 14.000 were wounded in violent and terrorist attacks in 2016. 

Sources: Iraq TradeLink, HOC, December 30, 2016

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