Human rights organisations have demanded that the international community should take a firm stance in response to the “political and sectarian executions” which have taken place recently in Iraq.
Amnesty International and the Arab Organisation for Human Rights have criticised the Iraqi authorities for executing 36 people convicted of killing hundreds of Iraqi soldiers near Camp Speicher in Tikrit, north of Baghdad, just over two years ago. They claim that some of those who were executed could have be innocent or had confessions extracted from them by force.
“The executions that took place on Sunday in Nasiriyah Prison in southern Iraq, came after political pressure exerted in the aftermath of the Karrada bombings in Baghdad last month, which killed more than 300 people,” Amnesty’s senior crisis response adviser told Al-Jazeera.
Donatella Rovera explained that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and other officials had called for the implementation of the death sentences to be speeded up in the wake of the Karrada atrocity. She pointed out that the leader of Abu Al-Fadl Al-Abbas Militia, Aws Al-Khafaji, also threatened to retaliate if the authorities did not carry out the executions.
“The new executions took place after a judicial process which was riddled with errors and which was not subject to international laws and standards,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Arab Organisation for Human Rights, called in a statement on Monday for the Iraqi President, Fuad Masum, to stop ratifying death sentences, and not succumb to the wishes of a sectarian government that has “torn Iraq apart” and “alienated” justice.
“The quick death sentences see the victim dragged to the scaffold and verbally abused in the most sectarian manner,” said the group in a statement. “This calls for a decisive stand by the international community to stop this farce.” The AOHR also stressed that the defendants did not receive a fair and transparent trial.