Iraqi parliament considers extended death penalty for terrorist acts

[JURIST] A closed session of the Iraqi National Assembly [Wikipedia backgrounder] debated a broad new anti-terrorism bill Monday, which would authorize the execution of perpetrators and accomplices of offenses classified as terrorist acts. The bill reportedly includes the following as punishable offenses: attacking Iraqi soldiers, police and diplomatic missions, kidnapping for political, sectarian, ethnic or racial purposes, acts of sowing sectarian sedition or civil war through arming citizens or mobilizing them to carry arms against each other, vandalism against public buildings, forming armed gangs, and using explosives to kill people. Proponents justified the measure saying "the damage caused by terrorist acts has reached such a point that it threatens national unity and stability." The death penalty in Iraq was abolished during the US occupation, but was reinstated last August [JURIST report] amid protests from European nations and human rights groups [JURIST report]. The death penalty has been a controversial issue in the upcoming trial of Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archives] and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani [Wikipedia profile] has vowed not to sign any death warrants [JURIST report]. AFP has more.

 

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