Amnesty calls for Iraq death penalty moratorium
31 August, 2012
BAGHDAD: Amnesty International called on Thursday for Iraq to issue a moratorium on its use of the death penalty and commute all death sentences after Baghdad said it had executed 26 people this week.
The executions, which brought to at least 96 the number of people executed this week, were a "significant and worrying increase compared to the previous year" when at least 68 people were executed, the London-based rights group said in a statement.
"Many trials of those sentenced to death failed to meet international standards for fair trials, including that 'confessions' obtained under torture or other ill-treatment had been used as evidence against them," it said.
"Some Iraqi television stations continue to broadcast self-incriminating testimonies of detainees even before the opening of a trial, undermining the fundamental right of defendants to be considered innocent until proven guilty."
"Amnesty International is urging the Iraqi authorities to refrain from using the death penalty, commute all death sentences to terms of imprisonment and declare a moratorium on executions," the statement said.