The Iraqi Justice Ministry executed 21 individuals on Tuesday who were convicted of terrorism. The men were convicted [CNN report] under Article 4,of Iraq's anti-terrorism law, which includes the use of improvised explosive devices, assassinations of doctors and kidnapping women, and sentenced to death. Iraq has been widely criticized for the use of the death penalty, but has continued the practice. Iraq executed 129 prisoners in 2012 and has executed 50 so far this year. According to a recent Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] report [text, PDF; JURIST report], Iraq continues to be one of the countries that uses the death penalty most frequently.
Iraq has sparked international controversy over its use of executions and other human rights concerns. Last week Iraq announced plans to reform [JURIST report] its de-Baathification laws to allow former members of Saddam Hussein's regime to serve in the public sector. De-Baathificaiton is a controversial subject that should be approached with caution [JURIST op-ed], according to a recent JURIST op-ed by Professor Haider Ala Hamoudi. In February, Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] criticized [JURIST report] Iraq Kurdistan for detaining and persecuting journalists.