HRW Urges Iraq To Stop Executions, Two Men Later Hanged

A U.S.-based human rights group urged Iraq to stop executing detainees, at least until a "flawed criminal justice system" is repaired. Despite the call, two more executions took place today. Four people were killed in other violence, and four Iraqis were wounded.

Human Rights Watch is calling for a moratorium on capital punishment and warns that Iraqi officials appear to have been given a "green light to execute at will." A spokesman for the group said that officials reported carrying out death sentences on 14 people yesterday and gave notice that more are on the way. That has already happened. Today, officials in Kirkuk said that two more men, found guilty of committing terrorist acts in 2007, were hanged. In recent weeks, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and Amnesty International have criticized the executions.

The family of one man who was executed yesterday was prevented from holding mourning services and burying him in his hometown of Duluiya. The al-Jubur tribe banned the ceremonies in order to prevent violence between the families of the condemned man and his victims. The man was eventually buried outside the city.

Two bodies were discovered in Baiji. One victim was the brother of an Iraqiya lawmaker. The other body belonged to a female journalist. When the man was kidnapped several days ago, his bodyguard was shot and wounded.

In Riyadh, gunmen killed a policeman and wounded three others.

Gunmen killed a soldier in Shorah.

Author: Margaret Griffis

Margaret Griffis is a journalist from Miami Beach, Florida and has been covering Iraqi casualties for since 2006.