Iraq hangs 38 on terrorism charges | 2017-12-15 |

Iraq hangs 38 on terrorism charges

BBC     15th December, 2017 12:08:24 printer

Iraq hangs 38 on terrorism charges

Iraq says it has hanged, in a mass execution, 38 jihadist militants convicted of terrorism offences.


The justice ministry said they were all members of so-called Islamic State (IS).


The death sentences were carried out in a prison in the southern city of Nasiriyah.


However, international advocacy groups have repeatedly criticised Iraq's use of the death penalty and how terrorism charges are brought.


It was the largest mass execution since 25 September when 42 militants were hanged.


"The Iraqi authorities have a deplorable track record when it comes to use of the death penalty," Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International's Middle East director said following the 25 September mass execution.


"In many cases previously people have been put to death after deeply unfair trials and in some cases after being tortured to 'confess'."


Human Rights Watch recently accused the justice system of "failing to distinguish" between doctors who protected lives under IS rule and "those responsible for crimes against humanity".


The prison in Nasiriyah has been the scene of previous mass executions.


The justice ministry said the appeals process before the latest hangings had been exhausted. A senior local official said that Justice Minister Haidar al-Zamili was present at the executions.


Iraq executed at least 88 people last year, up from 26 in 2015.


Those put to death on Thursday are believed to have been mostly Iraqi citizens, though one report suggests one may have held Swedish citizenship.


Earlier this month, the Iraqi government declared the conflict with IS over after ousting the group from the areas of northern and western Iraq it began occupying in 2014.