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IRAQ: EUROPEAN ALLIES CALL FOR HALT TO DEATH PENALTY

February 16, 2010: Britain, France and Italy called on Iraq to halt use of the death penalty, expressing concern at a growth in the number of executions in the past two years.
However, Iraq told the UN Human Rights Council that it had not been in a position to abolish capital punishment "because of the severity and intensity of terrorist crimes" and their huge civilian toll.
"Because of the extraordinary circumstances we are facing... we have maintained the penalty as a means of deterrence," while victims and their relatives needed a sense of justice, explained Iraq's Minister for Human Rights, Wijdan Salim.
Some 122 executions were carried out over the past five years out of 925 death sentences passed by criminal courts, according to Iraqi authorities.
France told the UN council that 79 people were hanged last year alone.
French ambassador Jean-Baptiste Mattei called on Iraq to commit to "the path of abolition of capital punishment" by swiftly approving "a moratorium and commuting death sentences already handed down."
Britain and Italy also called for a moratorium.
"We remain concerned that Iraq maintains the death penalty and the number of executions has increased in the last two years," said British ambassador Peter Gooderham.
Salim told the council that the Iraqi government was striving to reduce the number of executions "to the minimum," while "respecting the rights of victims" and their families.
Iraq was facing a four yearly review of its human rights record in the council, a process applied to all UN member states. (Sources: Agence France Presse, 16/02/2010)

GENEVA: WORLD CONGRESS AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY- PRESIDED OVER BY HANDS OFF CAIN
JORDAN: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MURDERING FRIEND
SOUTH KOREA COURT UPHOLDS DEATH PENALTY
GENEVA: CONGRESS OPENS WITH CALL TO END DEATH PENALTY
ITALY TO SEEK NEW UN RESOLUTION TO HALT DEATH PENALTY
TEXAS (USA): CHARLES DEAN HOOD'S DEATH SENTENCED OVERTURNED
IRAN: JUNDULLAH' LEADERS' BROTHER EXECUTED
SUDAN RELEASES 50 DARFUR REBELS
YEMEN: DEATH SENTENCE AGAINST NUSAIBA KILLING UPHELD
PALESTINE: GAZA COURT ISSUES DEATH SENTENCE
SAUDI ARABIA: MAN BEHEADED FOR MURDER
IRAN: DISSIDENTS - 'GOVERNMENT KILLS TO INSTILL FEAR'
BELARUS ON ITS OWN WAY TOWARDS CAPITAL PUNISHMENT BAN
IRAN: THREE PEOPLE HANGED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
LEBANESE SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR SPYING FOR ISRAEL
SAUDI ARABIA: MAN EXECUTED FOR MURDER
IRAN: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR TIES TO MONARCHIST GROUP
USA: NORTH CAROLINA MAN EXONERATED AFTER 17 YEARS
IRAN REJECTS U.N. CALL TO FREE POLITICAL PRISONERS
FLORIDA (USA): 45-YEAR-OLD INMATE EXECUTED FOR 1984 SLAYING
UKRAINE: PARLIAMENT REFUSES TO RESTORE DEATH PENALTY
ITALY TO UN ON IRAN EXECUTING MINORS
BANGLADESH: 411 PEOPLE EXECUTED SINCE 1971
ARIZONA: OLDEST US DEATH ROW INMATE DIES
KYRGYZSTAN: BISHKEK JOINS INTERNATIONAL PROTOCOL ON DEATH PENALTY ABOLITION
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: FIVE FACE FIRING SQUAD IN RAK FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
THAILAND: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR POSSESSING HEROIN
INDIA: SOCIO-ECONOMIC SITUATION FACTOR FOR COMMUTING DEATH PENALTY
IRAN: MAN CONDEMNED TO DEATH OVER ANTI-GOVERNMENT RIOTS
CHINA ISSUES GUIDELINES TO LIMIT DEATH PENALTY USE

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