50 await execution in Iraq after unfair trials, says UN

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The United Nations human rights experts said on Friday that 50 prisoners in Iraq await possible execution on Monday, following conviction in terrorism-related charges in unfair trials.

The UN experts suggested Baghdad halt its mass executions, noting that 21 executions had been carried out in October, and 21 only in the last week in Nasiriyah Central Prison, also known as Al-Hoot.

The experts said that 4000 prisoners, most of them charged with terrorism-related offences, are on the death row. They surmised that Iraq seems eager to execute all the prisoners on death row. Hundreds of executions are imminent, as their execution orders have already been signed off. 

The UN experts, who focus on arbitrary killings, torture, countering terrorism and protecting human rights, urged Baghdad to: “respect its international legal obligations and to immediately halt further plans to execute prisoners.”

They said that the trails have been marked by alarming irregularities. “Defendants have frequently been denied the most basic right to an adequate defense and their allegations of torture and ill-treatment during interrogations have not been investigated”, they added.

There have been no comments by the Iraqi government on the matter. 

The UN human rights chief called on to the Iraqi government in a statement to halt mass executions following the execution of 21 prisoners last week. “Frequent violations of fair trial rights, ineffective legal representation, over-reliance on confessions and frequent allegations of torture”, her office had found.


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