According to a justice ministry official, the Iraqi government has officially executed 69 people during 2012. Last year, only 68 people suffered the death penalty during the entire year. Four of the recently condemned were put to death yesterday. Two of them were found guilty on terrorism charges, while the other two were common criminals.
Groups, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights, have recently criticized the increasing number of executions. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called on Iraq to suspend the death penalty until there is more transparency in the courts.
The numbers only reflect official executions. What has gone on in Iraq’s secret prisons is not completely known. As recently as November, the Interior Ministry has been accused of killing prisoners, and the ministry once harbored Shi’ite death squads.
At least five Iraqis were killed and five more were wounded in other violence.
In Mosul, a policeman and a civilian were killed in separate attacks.
A roadside bomb in Qaim killed a petrol station manager and wounded two other people.
A blast killed two people in Yathrib.
In Baiji, two people were wounded in a roadside bombing.
A policeman was wounded during a blast in Baquba.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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