UN rights expert denounces executions in Iraq Max Slater at 3:50 PM ET
[JURIST] A UN human rights expert on Thursday condemned [press release] Iraq for the executions of 21 people on Monday and five more people on Wednesday. UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Chistof Heyns [academic profile] urged the government of Iraq to halt all executions and ensure that all criminal defendants have fair trials. Heyns decried the Iraqi government for enacting its death penalty in an arbitrary and inhumane manner:
The death penalty may only be imposed, in countries that still have this form of punishment, if a strict set of substantive and procedural requirements are met. ... The arbitrary killing of people, also when it is committed behind a smokescreen of flawed legal processes, is not solely a matter of domestic concern. Iraq should take note that the international community will take strong exception to a continuation of its flagrant disregard of the norms applicable to the protection of the right to life.
Heyns will present a report on issues relating to the death penalty in October to the UN General Assembly [official website].
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