IRAQ: EU CALLS ON KURDISTAN TO REINSTATE MORATORIUM ON DEATH PENALTY
August 26, 2015: the European Union called on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to re-instate a moratorium on executions, after the Kurdistan Region hanged three offenders this month for the first time since 2008.
â€śWe call on the KRG to reinstate a moratorium, with a view to ultimately abolishing the death penalty and we similarly call on the Government of Iraq to introduce a moratorium on executions,â€ť said EU spokesperson Catherine Ray in a written statement.
A Kurdish man and his two wives, convicted of abducting and murdering two schoolgirls, were hanged earlier this month, making it the first judicial executions in the Kurdistan Region since a death penalty moratorium in 2008.
The EU deplored what it called, â€śThe breaking of the de facto moratoriumâ€ť in the region. The executions represent â€śa setbackâ€ť in a troubled region, the statement added.
â€śWith no executions carried out in the autonomous region of Kurdistan since 2008, the Kurdistan Region Government (KRG) has set a progressive example in a troubled region, and demonstrated that it is possible to ensure a high level of security without resorting to capital punishment,â€ť Ray said.
The Kurdistan parliament passed a terrorism bill on April 4, 2006, that stipulated the death penalty for acts of terrorism or affiliation with a terrorist organization.
Apart from terrorism-related cases, no other death sentence has been carried out since 2008 because Kurdish President Masoud Barzani has imposed a freeze on signing off on execution orders. (Sources: rudaw.net, 27/08/2015)