Monday, October 20, 2014

Iraq: Executions, bombings and, oops!, people are still trapped on Mount Sinjar

Violence continues in Iraq.  And it's not just the hundreds the US and others kill via dropping bombs -- all of whom the US insists were 'terrorists.'  Violence also includes other incidents.  Such as, National Iraqi News Agency notes that Karbala has been slammed with four car bombings so far today.  In addition, they note that 1 person was shot dead in Baghdad and "A police source said that a suicide bomber, wearing an explosive belt, blew himself up inside the Kayrat Husseiniah in the Syed Sultan Ali area in central Baghdad, killing four and wounding 12 others."

NBC News reports this morning:

Iraqi forces backed by U.S. air strikes have surrounded ISIS fighters in the northern city of Tikrit in a bid to isolate and choke off the fighters in Saddam Hussein's birthplace, according to senior local officials.
"Iraqi security forces were able to secure and control the road from Tikrit to Baiji,” a Brigadier-General in Iraq’s defense ministry told NBC News late Sunday, referring to the nearby town which is adjacent to a key oil refinery. “These forces are around the city of Baiji now, in order to retake it, but ISIS fighters are fighting hard to defend their position inside the city.”         

That's hilarious.

As we noted last night, it took only one bombing to send the Iraqi military into retreat at Baiji.

The press loves to spin and lie.  How about that Mount Sinjar success, for example?

Barack took care of that, remember?

Got it off his check list.

Problem is . . . Alsumaria reports today that Yezidi MP Haji Kndorjsmo is calling for the government to rescue 700 families who are still trapped on Mount Sinjar.

All Iraq News notes Parliament is in session today and only 205 MPs attended.  There's a promise regarding two days that will address in the snapshot.

Yesterday,  UNAMI noted:

A report published Sunday by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) documents the alarming rise in executions carried out by Iraq since the restoration of the death penalty in 2005.

The report documents that the number of executions carried out in Iraq rose substantially between 2005 and 2009. In 2009, 124 people were executed. Despite a drop in the implementation rate in 2010, the number of executions significantly increased between 2011 and 2013, culminating in the hanging of 177 individuals in 2013. Between 1 January and 30 September 2014 at least 60 people have been executed. Executions are often carried out in batches in Iraq – on one occasion in 2013, up to 34 individuals were executed in a single day.
As of August 2014, according to the Iraqi Ministry of Justice, some 1,724 prisoners are awaiting execution. This number includes those sentenced to death at first instance, those on appeal, and those awaiting implementation of their sentences.
“UNAMI and OHCHR have repeatedly voiced concerns about observed weaknesses of the Iraqi justice system,” the report states. “Criminal investigations and judicial proceedings in death penalty cases frequently fail to adhere to international and constitutional guarantees of due process and fair trial standards.”
In over half of the trials involving the death penalty monitored by UNAMI, judges systematically ignored claims by defendants that they were subjected to torture to induce confessions, and in the remainder of cases they took little or no action. In nearly all cases, judges proceeded to convict the defendants and sentence them to death based solely, or substantially, on the weight of disputed confession evidence or the testimony of secret informants. Most defendants appeared in court unrepresented, and where the court appointed an attorney, no time was granted to the defendant to prepare adequately a defence.

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