Erbil, - The autonomous northern Iraqi region of Kurdistan's justice minister, Faruq Jamil, on Thursday told campaign group Amnesty International he wants to abolish the death penalty, according to an unnamed ministry source.
Jamil met a delegation from Amnesty, which is currently on a fact-finding mission to Kurdistan to assess alleged human rights abuses and the legal status of prisoners in the region's jails.
"The minister told members of the delegation he wants to abolish the death penalty in Kurdistan.
"He also told it about positive developments and the abolition of many by-laws," said the justice ministry source.
"The justice ministry has since 1991 been amending dozens of criminal laws to bring these in line with international human rights standards," the source added.
The Kurdistan region's human rights minister, Shirwan Aziz is currently working on a bill to limit the application of the death penalty together with a commission from the regional parliament and several international organisations