IRAQ OKAYS EXECUTIONS OF 53, INCLUDING FIVE FOREIGNERS
October 20, 2011: Iraq's presidency approved the executions of 53 people, including five foreigners, according to the head of the presidency council office.
"There are 53 people who have been approved for execution -- among them are five foreigners," Nassir al-Ani told AFP. He provided no further details of who the people were who would be executed, or the nationalities of the foreign prisoners.
Ani heads the office of the presidency council, comprised of President Jalal Talabani and his two deputies Tareq al-Hashemi and Khudayr al-Khuzaie, which must approve all death sentences in Iraq.
Last month, Abdelsattar Birakdar, the spokesman of the Higher Judicial Council, said 338 death sentences had been issued so far this year, and three executions had been carried out.
Iraq's Deputy Justice Minister Busho Ibrahim said in December 2010 that Iraq has executed 257 people, including six women, since 2005. (Sources: AFP, 20/2011)