October 12, 2013

Why Iraq hangs 42 ‘terrorists’ including woman?

Iraq executed 42 people, including a woman, for mass killings and other terrorism offences over two days this week, the Justice Ministry says.

"The criminals were found guilty of terrorist crimes... (that) led to the deaths of dozens of innocent citizens, as well as other crimes aimed at destabilizing the security and stability of the country and causing chaos and terror among the people," Minister of Justice Hassan al-Shimary said in a statement on Thursday.

More than 6,000 people have been killed in attacks across Iraq so far this year, as extremist insurgents including al-Qaeda regain momentum.

After invading Iraq in 2003, the US-led interim authority suspended the death penalty.

But as sectarian carnage began to take hold of the country in 2005, Iraq reinstated the punishment for those who commit "terrorist acts", as well as people who provoke, plan, finance and enable others to perpetrate them.

Kidnapping and murder, but also lesser offenses like damage to public property, in certain circumstances, are also punishable by death.

The ministry did not announce the names of the 42 executed this week, nor their religious affiliation.

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