Wednesday, September 27, 2017

U.N. human rights chief 'appalled' at mass executions in Iraq

High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein
The United Nations' human rights chief said Wednesday he is "appalled" at the mass execution of dozens of "militants" in Iraq last weekend.

Forty-two Sunni "militants" were hanged Sunday at the Al Hoot prison in Nasiriyah, for various crimes that include car bombings and killing military troops. It was Iraq's largest mass execution so far this year.

"I am appalled to learn of the execution of 42 prisoners in a single day," High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said in a statement Wednesday. "Under international law, the death penalty may only be imposed after a strict set of substantive and procedural requirements have been met."

No information had been released regarding the individual cases, a point al-Hussein's office finds concerning.

The human rights chief said he's doubtful procedural requirements like due process and fair trial guarantees were met for all 42 prisoners killed Sunday. If their rights were not met, he said, the hangings constitute a "gross miscarriage of justice."

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