10 February 2021 :
Iraq on 9 February 2021 hanged five people convicted on “terrorism” charges in a notorious southern prison, security sources said, despite an international outcry in recent months over the country’s execution record.
The five men, all Iraqi, were executed in the Nasiriyah prison in Dhi Qar province, the only one in Iraq that carries out capital punishment, the security sources said.
Iraqis fearfully refer to Nasiriyah jail as Al-Hut, the Arabic word for “whale,” describing it as a vast prison complex that “swallows” people up.
A 2005 law carries the death penalty for anyone convicted of “terrorism,” which can include membership of an extremist group, even if the convict is not found guilty of any specific acts.
Since declaring the Daesh defeated in late 2017, Iraq has condemned hundreds of its own citizens to death for membership of the jihadist group.
But only a small proportion of the sentences have been carried out, as they must be approved by the country’s president — currently Barham Saleh, who is known to be against capital punishment on a personal level.
Last month, Iraqi authorities revealed that they had more than 340 execution orders “for terrorism or criminal acts” that were ready to be carried out.
A presidential source said that a majority of those approvals dated back to before Saleh became president.