Iraq executes five convicts, 26 in three days
BAGHDAD - Agence France-Presse
AP PhotoIraq executed five more people on Wednesday, including a Syrian national, a justice ministry spokesman said, two days after 21 people were executed.
The executions, which bring to at least 96 the number of people executed so far this year, come despite a call from the UN's human rights chief for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in Iraq, amid concerns over the lack of transparency in court proceedings.
"Five persons were executed after being convicted of terrorist crimes," Haidar al-Saadi said, adding that among the five was a Syrian national.
Wednesday's executions take to 26 the number of executions in Iraq since Monday, when 21 convicts were executed, including three women and one Saudi national.
Iraq has carried out several other mass executions this year, including one in which 14 people were put to death on February 7, and another in which 17 were executed on January 31.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, expressed shock earlier this year at the number of executions, criticising the lack of transparency in court proceedings and calling for an immediate suspension of the death penalty.
"Even if the most scrupulous fair trial standards were observed, this would be a terrifying number of executions to take place in a single day," she said in January.
In June, Amnesty International condemned the "alarming" increase in executions in Iraq.
It also called on authorities to "refrain from using the death penalty, commute the sentences of all those on death row, believed to number several hundred, and declare a moratorium on executions."