Iraq’s Presidential Council ratifies 128 death sentences
Amnistía Internacional publica esta semana que o Consello Presidencial de Iraq ratificou as sentencias de 128 persoas condenadas á pena capital. As autoridades de Iraq non revelaron as identidades destas persoas, que posiblemente sufriron xuízos inxustos. Quizá unha parte dos condenados foron entregados polas forzas dos Estados Unidos, que custodiaban a miles de prisioneiros, tralo último Status of Forces Agreement. Copio un extracto da nota de prensa:
On 9 March 2009 the Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council informed Amnesty International that Iraq’s Presidential Council has ratified the death sentences of 128 people, whose sentences had been confirmed by the Cassation Court. Consequently, all 128 people are facing imminent execution. The authorities are said to be planning to carry out the executions in batches of 20 a week.
No details were made available by the Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council regarding the individual cases of the 128 people who are at risk of imminent execution, including their identities. It is not known whether any of the 128 now facing imminent execution include prisoners that have been transferred from the custody of US forces following the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the governments of the USA and Iraq which came into force on 01 January 2009.
The death sentences were originally passed by criminal courts in Baghdad, Basra and other cities and provinces on charges under Iraq’s Penal Code and the Anti-Terrorism law that include murder and kidnapping. Amnesty International fears that many may have been convicted after trials that failed to conform to international standards of fair trial.
The death penalty was suspended in 2003 while Iraq was under occupation by a US-led coalition. However, since its reintroduction by the Iraqi government in August 2004, hundreds of people have been sentenced to death and scores have been executed. At least 65 people were put to death in 2006 alone, many of them after unfair trials.
In 2007 at least 199 people were sentenced to death and 33 were executed, and in 2008 at least 285 people were sentenced to death and at least 34 executed. The totals could be much higher as there are no official figures for the number of prisoners facing execution and the Iraqi press’s reporting of death sentences is erratic at best. The Presidential Council, which ratifies death sentences, is composed of the President and the two Vice-Presidents.
On 14 December 2008 Iraq and the USA signed the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) which opened the way for the transfer of thousands of detainees from US to Iraqi custody and the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.
- “Iraq executions follow apparently unfair trials” (AI news, 18 – IV – 2008)
- “Matanza y desesperación: Irak, cinco años después” (informe de AI, 17 – III – 2008)
- Coalición Mundial contra a Pena de Morte
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