Iraq executes 17 people in one day

2012-02-01 16:49

Baghdad - Iraq executed 17 convicted criminals in one day this week, the justice ministry said on Wednesday, bringing to at least 51 the number so far this year.

"The justice ministry carried out [death] sentences against 17 people condemned for terrorist and criminal crimes... on Tuesday," a statement said.

"The ministry is continuing to carry out punishments against criminals according to the law and the constitution," Justice Minister Hassan al-Shammari was quoted as saying.

Last month, ministry spokesperson Haidar al-Saadi said Iraq had so far executed 34 people this year, including two women and a Syrian. That is half the entire figure of 68 for all of 2011, including three foreigners and three Iraqi women.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay expressed shock last week at the number of executions, criticising the lack of transparency in court proceedings and calling for an immediate suspension of the death penalty.

"I call on the government of Iraq to implement an immediate moratorium on the institution of the death penalty," she said.

"Even if the most scrupulous fair trial standards were observed, this would be a terrifying number of executions to take place in a single day," said Pillay, a South African high court judge.

"Given the lack of transparency in court proceedings, major concerns about due process and fairness of trials, and the very wide range of offences for which the death penalty can be imposed in Iraq, it is a truly shocking figure," she said.

The United Nations estimates that more than 1 200 people have been sentenced to death in Iraq since 2004, but it does not have comprehensive statistics on executions.

Death sentences in Iraq must be signed by the country's president, currently Jalal Talabani, but the chief executive may delegate that authority to either of the two vice presidents.

As Talabani is an ardent opponent of the death penalty, that is what he does.

  • Lyndatjie - 2012-02-01 16:59

    Can we send them some of ours???? I'm sorry about I'm now THROUGH being politically correct and preach the protection of all human rights.... while we are fighting for that - our people are slowely but surely being murdered, tortured and wiped off the face of the earth. So I say - HANG THEM ALL!

      Paul - 2012-02-01 17:47

      With one of your christian prophets as executioner?

      Bert - 2012-02-01 18:48

      Paul, got a family or are you light of tread?

      Ian - 2012-02-01 19:43

      Just imagine what a pleasant place South Africa would be if WE could hang 17 a day. Mind you, it will probably take a few years to clear the backlog if you consider 50 people are murdered daily in SA, so push the number up to 80 a a day and we MIGHT make an impact!!!!!

  • louis.langenhoven - 2012-02-01 18:15

    one thing we can learn from the mullahs...they don't take sh@t from a criminal

  • Bert - 2012-02-01 18:46

    19 in one day. Introduce it here, 1. Fill all the redundant soccer stadiums left over from the world cup, just a small cover charge. 2. start to even up the score on the wanton killing of our farmers, 3. make everyone think before acting criminally. 4. see the rubbish running back across the borders very quickly. Iran & China got it figured!

  • ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-02-01 21:50

    It's no wonder there were less murders & violent crime back in the day, we USED to have a judicial concept of the "DEATH PENALTY", why dont we bring it back, LIFE would be better for all except murdering scum!

  • Simon - 2012-02-02 07:34

    Before I left SA in 2007 (I was sick and tired of the crime and corruption - returned 2 years later after calming down) I forwarded an article that I had read in Time magazine, to Debora Patta and online news sites in the hope that they might read it and see how that approach might benefit South Africa. The article was about how the residents of Bahgdad, Iraq had grown sick and tired of bands of thugs roaming the streets, pillaging, looting and raping. The citizens called for the death penalty. It was reinstated, although in the beginning there were technical difficulties, like heads coming off - seriously! Tension on the rope calculations were a little out - but the result was a reduction in crime of 80%. Search Time magazine 2006/2007, the article will be there somewhere. I thought that the approach that the Baghdadians took was clever and perhaps we could learn a thing or two. Needless to say I received no reply to my emails here in SA. So, we march on into an even more crime-riddled future while the citizens of Baghdad deal efficiently with their murderous crowd. `Bravo` to the Iraqis for doing something about crime :)

      bfvillet - 2012-02-19 21:35

      why not move to bagdad you and all the other proponents of the death penalty

  • dcostine - 2012-02-02 08:46

    If there are 45 murders a day in South Africa (not sure where I got that number, it just comes to mind), then we should be putting to death 45 people a day for the crime.

  • jscholtz - 2012-02-02 09:04

    Would you really trust our government with the job of killing people ? You can't even trust them with basic services, how can you trust them to fairly judge and execute people? No thanks, that is not what governments should be for.

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