Donations to the Community of Sant'Egidio are tax deductible
under current regulations

Also this year it can target the 5x1000 to the Community of Sant'Egidio
Write the number 80191770587 in the tax return

Andrea Riccardi: on the web

Andrea Riccardi: on social networks

Andrea Riccardi: press review

change language
you are in: no death penalty - news contacting usnewsletterlink

Support The Community

May 7 2009 | IRAQ


U.N. condemns death penalty resumption. Over 150 inmates inside death row

printable version


Iraq should rethink death penalty resumption-U.N.

* U.N. urges Iraq to reconsider resuming death penalty

* U.N. concerned about fairness of trials

* Iraq deputy justice minister rejects criticisms

(adds deputy justice minister reaction)

By Tim Cocks

BAGHDAD, May 6 - The United Nations urged Iraq on Wednesday to reconsider its resumption of the death penalty and said more than 100 prisoners on death row may not have had fair trials.

A U.N. official, who declined to be named, told Reuters Sunday's executions of a dozen convicts in Baghdad were thought to be the first for about 18 months, although there may have been others carried out that were not made public.

"It is a matter of regret that, after a year and a half of non-application of the death penalty, executions have resumed," the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and the U.N. mission in Baghdad said in a joint statement.

"The Iraqi justice system does not guarantee sufficient fair trial procedures in accordance with ... the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights."

Iraq's Deputy Justice Minister Bosho Ibrahim told Reuters the number of Iraqis on death row was around 150, higher than the U.N. estimate of 115. He rejected the U.N. criticisms.

"They missed the truth. Iraqi justice is fair," he said. "What is said in this report could be said of Saddam's time. In the whole history of Iraq, we have never witnessed trials as fair as those being conducted nowadays."

Iraq reintroduced the death penalty in 2004 after it was suspended following the U.S.-led invasion a year earlier.

The U.N. official said the pause in executions was "something of a mystery" but may have been because Iraq had no permanent justice minister for most of that period.

Rights groups say trials ending in death sentences are often poorly conducted in a country where insurgents have assassinated numerous judges and the government has been rebuilt completely since the invasion in 2003.

"It is of particular concern that the prohibition of the use of evidence -- including confessions -- gathered under duress or torture, and the right not to be compelled to ... confess guilt, are often violated in Iraq," the U.N. statement said.



Iraq's most high-profile execution since 2003 was that of former dictator Saddam Hussein, a Sunni Arab hanged in 2006 after being convicted of crimes against humanity over the killing of 148 Shi'ite men and boys in the 1980s.

Some rights groups say his trial was tainted by politics.

Members of Iraq's Sunni Arab minority were outraged by a video that showed the ousted leader being subjected to sectarian taunts by official observers from the Shi'ite-led governing coalition just before he was executed.

His half-brother Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti was executed two weeks later in a botched hanging that tore off his head.

Rights group Amnesty International has called on Iraq to make public the names of those to be executed, and the charges against them. It says the death penalty is an ineffective deterrent in a country plagued by suicide bombers and others willing to sacrifice their lives.

Ibrahim rejected that argument.

"Executions are necessary in Iraq, (which faces) ... terrorism," he said. "Why are they (the U.N.) criticising us but not criticising the United States for practicing execution?"

Amnesty estimates that more than 130 people have been executed in the past three years, and many more sentenced to death, while cautioning accurate figures are hard to obtain.

The fate of tens of thousands of Iraqis, many of them Sunni Arabs, in U.S. and Iraqi detention is a sensitive issue as the country tries to recover from years of sectarian bloodshed. (Additional reporting by Waleed Ibrahim; editing by Robert Woodward)

October 15 2016

Human rights activist asks Pope to discuss the death penalty with Lukashenka

Andrei Paluda, coordinator of the campaign "Human Rights Defenders against the Death Penalty in Belarus", has sent a letter to Pope Francis, asking him to touch upon the issue of capital punishment during his meeting with President Lukashenka.
October 10 2016
October 10,14th World Day Against the Death Penalty

On the 14th world day against the death penalty a conference entitled "No Justice Without Life" will be held in Japan

July 2 2016
Address and the Final Ceremony by Mario Marazziti. Nobel Peace Prize Room, City Hall. June 23rd 2016

CITIES FOR LIFE – CITIES AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY 6th World Congress Against the Death Penalty in Oslo

by Mario Marazziti
June 25 2016

Pope Francis: “Death penalty is unacceptable”

Pope Francis addresses the authorities, the associations, the activists and the civil society gathered in Oslo on the occasion of the World Congress Against the Death Penalty through a video message.
June 21 2016
The 6th Congress Against the Death Penalty opens today in Oslo

The Community of Sant'Egidio takes part in the congress with delegations from Italy, Congo, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Indonesia

1500 attendants coming from over 80 countries. Among them, 20 ministers, 200 diplomats, members of different parliaments, scholars, lawyers, members of various associations and civil society actors
May 25 2016
"The laws are not perfect and judges cannot make mistakes. When you think that laws are perfect, this is the beginning of injustice", said Mgr. Suharyo

Church and civil society against new executions

Jakarta is among the 15 cities in Indonesia where in the past years the event "Cities for Life, Cities against the Death Penalty" was held, organized by Sant'Egidio in over two thousand municipalities in the five continents
all related news

June 4 2016
The Washington Post

Meet the red-state conservatives fighting to abolish the death penalty
May 23 2016

Malaysian death row convict loses final appeal in Singapore
May 23 2016

Vescovo filippino: È presto per giudicare il contraddittorio Duterte. No alla pena di morte
May 14 2016

Pfizer blocca i farmaci per la pena di morte negli Usa
May 14 2016
La Stampa

Pena di morte, Pfizer blocca l’uso dei suoi farmaci per le iniezioni letali negli Usa
all press-related

Motion Grafic "cities for life" 2012 -
Motion Grafic cities for life FR -
Promo Engl 2013 citiesforlife -

63 visits

226 visits

45 visits

48 visits

52 visits
all the related media