Amnesty Int’l Condemns ‘Shocking Surge’ in Death Sentences

From Amnesty International. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

The 40 death sentences handed down today in Iraq after a fundamentally flawed mass trial show a reckless disregard for justice and human life, said Amnesty International and brings the total sentenced in 2016 close to 100.

Iraq’s courts have imposed at least 52 death sentences since 1 January 2016. Today a further 40 individuals were sentenced to death as the verdict of a high-profile anti-terror trial is delivered in Baghdad.

“For Iraqi courts to hand down 92 death sentences in just six weeks is a grim indicator of the current state of justice in the country,” said James Lynch, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director.

“The vast majority of the trials have been grossly unfair, with many of the defendants claiming to have been tortured into ‘confessing’ the crimes. These allegations must be urgently investigated and a re-trial that meets international fair trial standard should be ordered.”

Today’s trial involved 47 individuals accused of involvement in the Speicher massacre, in which at least 1,700 military cadets from Speicher Military camp, near Tikrit, were brutally killed by militants from the armed group calling itself Islamic State (IS) in June 2014.

Iraq’s Federal Judicial Authority confirmed that 40 people were sentenced to death under the 2005 anti-terrorism law and seven were released due to lack of evidence.

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