AMNESTY CONDEMNS IRAQ EXECUTIONS
April 20, 2007: Iraq is now the world's fourth highest user of the death penalty, Amnesty International reported. At least 270 people have been sentenced to death since mid 2004, often after unfair trials, and more than 100 people have been hanged. Only China, Iran and Pakistan used the death penalty more frequently.
Iraq's US-led occupiers suspended the death penalty in 2003, but it was reintroduced by the first interim government.
âAmnesty calls for a moratorium on executions in Iraq, and asked that US and British forces do not hand over to the Iraqis any detainees who have been sentenced to death.â
âThe clock has been turned back in Iraq and we've seen a return to large numbers of people being condemned to death and hastily executed after unfair trials," said Amnesty's UK Director Kate Allen. The report cites several cases in which defendants were convicted after trials lasting just one or two hours, on the basis of earlier confessions which they had retracted, saying they were the result of torture. (Sources: BBC, 20/04/2007)