YubaNet.com
Friday, July 29 2016

            We Deliver News to the Sierra
News Fire News spacer Latest News spacer Regional News spacer California News spacer USA News spacer World News spacer Op-Ed spacer Enviro News spacer Sci Tech News spacer Life spacer Odd News spacer Cartoons spacer
Features The Calendar features features Weather features Sierra NightSky features features features Road Conditions features Home spacer
World
 

Pillay condemns rampant use of death penalty in Iraq


    Google+    

By: OHCHR

GENEVA, April 19, 2013 - The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Friday condemned the execution of 21 individuals in Iraq earlier in the week, which brought the total to 33 in the past month, and said she was appalled by reports that the Ministry of Justice has announced that a further 150 people may be executed in the coming days.

She stressed that the justice system in the country was "too seriously flawed to warrant even a limited application of the death penalty, let alone dozens of executions at a time."

"Executing people in batches like this is obscene," Pillay said. "It is like processing animals in a slaughterhouse. The criminal justice system in Iraq is still not functioning adequately, with numerous convictions based on confessions obtained under torture and ill-treatment, a weak judiciary and trial proceedings that fall short of international standards. The application of the death penalty in these circumstances is unconscionable, as any miscarriage of justice as a result of capital punishment cannot be undone."

A total of 1,400 people are believed to be currently on death row in Iraq, and 129 people were executed in 2012 alone.

The Government of Iraq maintains that it only executes individuals who have committed terrorist acts or other serious crimes against civilians, and have been convicted under the Anti-Terrorism Law No. 13 of 2005.

The High Commissioner said she is concerned at the broad scope and wide application of article 4 of the Anti-Terrorism Law, which envisages the death penalty for a wide range of terrorism-related acts, not all of which can be considered to meet the threshold of "most serious crimes" allowing for the imposition of the death penalty under international law.

Pillay said she is also deeply concerned at Iraq's lack of compliance with its international human rights obligations in relation to the imposition of the death penalty, in particular under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iraq has been a State Party for more than 40 years.

The High Commissioner emphasized the need for transparency and stringent respect of due process. She called on the Government "to halt executions, conduct a credible and independent review of all death row cases and disclose information on the number and identity of death row prisoners, the charges and judicial proceedings brought against them, and the outcome of the review of their cases."

The High Commissioner also expressed concern at the apparent inability of prisoners convicted on terrorism-related charges to exercise the right to seek pardon or commutation of their sentences, as prescribed in article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and questioned why the presidential authority to pardon or commute death sentences (granted by article 286 of the Criminal Procedure Code) is hardly ever exercised.

Pillay said she was pleased to note that one part of Iraq – the Kurdistan Region – is already upholding an unofficial moratorium on the death penalty, and urged the central Government to follow suit and heed the repeated calls by the international community to establish a moratorium on all executions with a view to the abolition of the death penalty in accordance with repeated UN General Assembly Resolutions.* She pointed out that around 150 countries have now either abolished the death penalty in law or in practice, or introduced a moratorium.

"I am the first to argue there must never be impunity for serious crimes. But at least if someone is jailed for life, and it is subsequently discovered there was a miscarriage of justice, he or she can be released and compensated," Pillay said.

*See GA resolutions 62/149 (2007), 63/168 (2009), 65/205 (2010) and 67/176 (2012).

Check the Universal Human Rights Index: http://uhri.ohchr.org/en

 

Help us bring you more news. Be a real reader: Support YubaNet

By submitting a comment you consent to our rules. You must use your real first and last name, not a nickname or alias. A comment here is just like a letter to the editor or a post on Facebook. Thank you.

 

Latest Headlines

World

Concerns raised over Paris climate goals

Afghanistan: Record level of civilian casualties sustained in first half of 2016

UN agency condemns Israel's closures in Hebron as 'collective punishment'

Despairing about elections? This is why your vote matters

Radiation along Fukushima rivers up to 200 times higher than Pacific Ocean seabed - Greenpeace

Climate change’s costs are still escalating

Alarm over reports of high civilian death toll from US-led coalition airstrikes on Manbij in Syria

Turkey: Protect Rights, Law After Coup Attempt

The Elders express concern over lack of global action on climate change

UN World Heritage Committee to Mexico: Save Vanishing Porpoise or Risk 'In Danger' Status for Gulf of California World Heritage Site


More

 

 

 

 

NEWS . Fire News . Latest . Regional . California . USA . World . Op-Ed . Enviro . Sci/Tech . Life . Odd News . Cartoons
FEATURES . The Calendar .Weather . Sierra NightSky. Road Conditions
YubaNet.com . Advertising. About Us . Support YubaNet . Contact Us . Terms of Use . Privacy

YubaNet.com © 1999-2016
Nevada City, California (530) 478-9600