UN appeals to Iraq to halt prisoner executions

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Iraq has executed 33 people in the past month and is reportedly preparing to execute another 150 people in the coming days, according to the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR).

The Government of Iraq however maintains that it only executes individuals who have committed terrorist acts or other serious crimes against civilians.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay says there was lack of transparency in the manner the trials and executions were held.

She says while there must never be impunity for serious crimes, the Iraqi justice system was seriously flawed to warrant even a limited application of the death penalty.

Rupert Colville is the Spokesperson for the UN Human Rights office.

"There are numerous convictions still appear to be based on confessions obtained under torture and ill-treatment. Judiciary is still weak and trial proceedings still fall short of international standards. The application of the death penalty in these circumstances is unconscionable, as any miscarriage of justice as a result of capital punishment cannot be undone. The High Commissioner is emphasizing the need for transparency and stringent respect of due process. She is calling on the Government to halt executions, conduct a credible and independent review of all death row cases and disclose information on the number and identity of death row prisoners, the charges and judicial proceedings brought against them, and the outcome of the review of their cases."

The UN Human Rights Office estimates that there are over 1,400 people currently on death row in Iraq.

Patrick Maigua United Nations Radio Geneva.

Duration 1.32″


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