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UN calls for Iraq to abandon reinstatement of death penalty

[JURIST] Ashraf Qazi, special representative of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, asked Saturday that Iraq reconsider its decision to resume carrying out executions, three days after the Iraqi government approved three death sentences [JURIST report]. The US-led occupation placed a moratorium on capital punishment after removing former dictator Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] in 2003; after the end of formal occupation, the death penalty was reinstated [JURIST report]. While formally opposed to capital punishment, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani [Wikipedia profile] authorized his vice-president to sign the death warrants, a move that some believe could set a precedent for the potential execution of Hussein following his trial for his alleged role in the massacre of Shiite Muslims in 1982 [JURIST report]. AFP has more.

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