Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Iraq plans 33 more executions

Iraq has already executed at least 69 people this year. Al Rafidayn reports that Iraq's presidency council signed off on 33 more executions Sunday. If all are conducted in the next weeks, Iraq will have executed over 100 people before 2012's half-year mark. At Jurist, Middlesex University Law Department's Nadia Bernaz weighs in on the issue:

On August 8, 2004, only two months after the new Iraqi interim government replaced the Coalition Provisional Authority as the ruling power in Iraq, the death penalty was reinstated by Decree No. 3 for offenses that were punishable by death before the suspension as well as new offenses such as abduction. The reinstatement of the death penalty has been strongly criticized by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq who remains concerned by the lack of fair trial guarantees in the country.
In 2005, the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal was established to prosecute perpetrators of gross human rights violations, among other serious crimes. The Statute of the Tribunal indicates that the penalties should be in line with the Iraqi Penal Code, therefore including the death penalty in the list of applicable sentences, which led the UN to disengage entirely from the process. Tried before this tribunal in 2006, former president Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death, and eventually executed on December 30, 2006.
As a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Iraq is under the obligation to respect Article 6 on the right to life which provides that a sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes, "it being understood that their scope should not go beyond intentional crimes with lethal or other extremely grave consequences," as mentioned in the 1984 UN Safeguards Guaranteeing Protection of the Rights of Those Facing the Death Penalty. Iraq is currently in violation of this obligation since, for example, rape, kidnapping and drug trafficking are all punishable by death. Moreover, Iraq was among the minority of states to vote against the UN General Assembly resolutions calling for a worldwide moratorium on executions in 2007, 2008 and 2010.

It can't provide potable water or reliable electricity or even basic jobs, but Nouri's 'leadership' can provide executions. Lots and lots of executions.

Nouri's 'leadership' also can't provide a national conference still -- despite Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi and President Jalal Talabani calling for one since December 21st. Aswat al-Iraq reports that Moqtada al-Sadr's bloc states it has prepared an agenda for the national conference -- to deal with Iraq's ongoing political crisis -- which is scheduled to be discussed today in yet another prep-meeting. The agenda is said to "start with the topics that were not implemented from the Arbil agreement and the joint issues between Iraqiya and the Kurdish blocs." The Erbil Agreement ended Political Stalemate I in November 2010. Following the March 2010 elections, Nouri at first disputed the results, demanded a recount and then refused to abide by the results. This created Political Stalemate I. Though his State of Law came in second, the US-brokered Erbil Agreement found the other political blocs (including Iraqiya which came in first) agreeing to allow Nouri to remain as prime minister. As a result of that aspect of the Erbil Agreement, the political blocs were supposed to get various things. What happened was after Nouri was named prime minister-designate, he refused to follow the Erbil Agreement. This starts the ongoing Political Stalemate II which can be said to have begun at the end of December when Nouri refused to name the Minister of Defense, the Minister of Interior and the Minister of National Security. The nominees for the post were reportedly agreed on and in the Erbil Agreement. Nouri refused to fill the positions. He lied and stated he would shortly. Critics of Nouri insisted he was refusing to name the positions because it was part of his power-grab. The US press largely ran with Nouri's claim as reality and either ignored the critics or else chided them. All these months later, it's the critics and not the US press that were correct. For a year and two months now Nouri has refused to name the posts. (Per the Constitution, he should not have been transferred from "prime minister-designate" to "prime minister" as a result of this. Per the Constitution, Talabani should have named a new prime minister-designate at the end of December 2010.) Ayad al-Tamimi (Al Mada) reports that sources in the National Alliance (which State of Law is a part of) state that they want the security ministries to remain empty until the next prime minister is elected.

Hossam Acommok (Al Mada) reports
that KRG President Massoud Barzani stated on Sunday that he hopes the national conference ends the political crisis and that Baghdad decides to abide by the Erbil Agreement including the issue of Kirkuk. Al Rafidayn notes that the spokesperson for the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, Hamid Maaleh, states that his party is working with various components of the National Alliance including the Sadrists and are striving for a way to move the political process forward. In addition, the Adel Abdul Mahdi has recevied a delegation from the Sadr bloc and discussed the situation and what can be done. Adel Abdul Madhi isn't just a high ranking member of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, he's also the former vice president of Iraq. He was v.p. from 2006 through the summer of 2011 when he resigned due to the corruption in the government and the refusal of 'leadership' to address it. Aswat al-Iraq, citing the Chair of Parliament's Human Rights Commission, reports Iraqiya's calling for the national conference to limit the three presidencies (Iraq's President, Prime Minister and Speaker of Parliament) to two terms.

Kat's "Kat's Korner: Absorb the Graffiti" went up last night. Isaiah's latest comic goes up this morning. Mike's "Happy TV Day!" went up last night.

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