The Iraqi authorities must commute all death sentences and ensure verdicts are not based on forced confessions involving torture, Amnesty International said today after 11 people, convicted of terrorism-related offences were hanged in Baghdad on Wednesday.
Among the executed men was a Tunisian national who was sentenced to death for his alleged involvement in an attack against the al-‘Askari Shi’a Muslim Shrine in Samarra in February 2006 which sparked an eruption of sectarian violence. A further 10 people are reportedly due to be executed in Iraq today.
“While the Iraqi government has the right to bring to justice those responsible for serious crimes, the death penalty violates the right to life and should not be used in any case" said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Acting Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“Given the appalling state of Iraq’s justice system, it is questionable whether these 11 people received a fair trial.