Iraq executes three prisoners after deadly Baghdad market bombing

The attack claimed by ISIS on a busy Baghdad market killed 32 people on January 21, 2021. AP - Hadi Mizban

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Three men convicted of "terrorism" were hanged this Monday, January 25 in Iraq.

These executions confirm the fears of human rights defenders after pledges given by the presidency for strong acts following an attack in Baghdad.


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An official in the Iraqi presidency said Sunday that " 

more than 340 execution orders for criminal or terrorist acts

 " had been ratified, which could lead to hangings at any time.

Their implementation was quick: a source within the security services said on Monday that three Iraqis convicted of "terrorism" were hanged in Nassiriya prison (south) where all those condemned to death are sent. from the country.

To carry out an execution, the prison administration must obtain an order ratified by the presidency.

The more than 340 documents signed have been signed since 2014, almost all under the presidency of Fouad Massoum, at the worst of the breakthrough of the jihadist group Islamic State, according to another official in the presidency.

Ratifications continued under the mandate started in 2018 of Barham Saleh, known to be against the death penalty, said the first official quoted.

If Iraq carried out in 2019 more than one in seven executions in the world - that is to say 100 convicts hanged in one year -, it is customary of executions in the wake of an attack which shocked the public.

The death penalty, a political weapon

Former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi struck hard in June 2018 by executing thirteen jihadists and publishing photos of the hangings for the first time, to calm criticism of his lack of firmness after the assassination of eight civilians. by IS.

An attack claimed by ISIS killed 32 people



in a busy Baghdad market

, shocking a population accustomed to relative tranquility since ISIS's military defeat at the end of 2017 in Iraq.

The presidency's announcement is therefore, notes Belkis Wille of Human Rights Watch, further proof that " 

the death penalty is a political tool


Leaders use these kinds of announcements to tell people that they are doing something for them, regardless of the fact that the trials are flawed,

 " she said.





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  • Iraq

  • Terrorism

  • Justice