IRAQ. 13 CONVICTED CRIMINALS EXECUTED
December 19, 2006: Iraqi authorities executed 13 men by hanging after they were convicted of murder and kidnapping, lining them up in hoods and green jumpsuits with their hands bound behind their backs.
In a rare move that came amid chaotic violence sweeping the capital, the Iraqi government recorded and distributed graphic television footage of the convicts in the moments before they were put to death. The footage was given to both Iraqi and foreign media.
The images showed two men standing together on a gallows with nooses around their necks. Several of them stooped, and one had his arm around the shoulder of another as the hooded men stood in a row shortly before they were hanged.
The footage also showed a bearded man without a hood as he listened to an official tell him his appeal had been rejected and the sentence was death. "OK," the prisoner said impassively.
Iraqi TV had rarely aired such pictures since Saddam Hussein's 2003 ouster. Even under Saddam, executions were common but rarely made public. (Sources: Associated Press, 20/12/2006)