IRAQ: 26 EXECUTIONS IN THREE DAYS
August 29, 2012: Iraq executed 26 people convicted of terror-related charges between 27 and 29 August 2012, including a Syrian and Saudi national, a justice ministry spokesman said. The death sentences were carried out after the Iraqi Presidency Council approved the penalty verdicts for all the convicts.Â
On 27 August, "the justice ministry carried out 21 executions against those condemned of terrorist charges, including three women terrorists," Haidar al-Saadi, spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Justice, said in a text message. He did not give any further details.
On 29 August , Iraq executed five other convicted prisoners over similar charges of terrorist crimes, the justice ministry announced.
The 26 executions, which brought to at least 96 the number of people executed this year, were a significant and worrying increase compared to the previous year when at least 68 people were executed.
On 31 August, the spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Justice confirmed that Saudi citizen Mazin Masawee was executed by hanging, ending speculation about his fate. Haydar Al-Sadi told Okaz/Saudi Gazette that Masawee together with 25 other prisoners, charged with terrorism, were transferred onÂ 27 August to the condemned cell and they were hanged separately over a period of three days. There were Jordanians and Syrians among the prisoners.
Masawee was arrested on Aug. 4, 2010, for allegedly joining a terrorist group which blew up a police station in Baghdad and was sentenced to death, the Iraqi Ministry of Justiceâ€™s spokesman said.
Prison sources said Arab prisoners, especially Saudis, started a hunger strike following the execution of Masawee. They called for Iraqi authorities to stop executions and release prisoners who were wrongly accused of terrorist activities without strong evidence.
Talal Al-Zawbaee, an MP from the Iraqiya List, also called upon the Ministry of Justice to stop the executions. At a press conference, he wondered why the executions were taking place just days before the Parliament was going to vote on a public pardon law. â€śThis is unprecedented and unheard of in the Iraqi history. It puts the government in a tight position vis-Ă -vis the human rights reports made by global organizations.â€ť (Sources: AFP, 28/08/2012; IANS, 29/08/2012; Okaz/Saudi Gazette, 31/08/2012)