Iraq hangs 36 for Camp Speicher massacre

Officials in the Iraqi governorate of Dhiqar on Aug. 21 carried out the hanging of 36 men convicted for their participation in the Camp Speicher massacre of June 2014. The event infamously involved the kidnapping and killing of 1,700 military recruits by presumed ISIS militants after the fall of the base outside Tikrit. The massacre has since been known as one of the greatest ISIS atrocities in the country. The executions were performed in Dhiqar's Nasiriyah prison and overseen by governor Yahya al-Nasseri and the justice minister. Al-Nasseri has recently fast-tracked the execution of convicted terrorists following last month's suicide bombing in Baghdad. These executions have drawn heavy criticism from advocacy groups for ignoring international judicial standards.

Iraq has long faced international criticism from for its use of the death penalty. Earlier this month UN human rights official Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein deplored Iraq's efforts to expedite implementation of the death penalty. Amnesty Internationa in February criticized the state of justice in Iraq after a court sentenced 40 men to death in a case also connected to the Speicher massacre. Last August a spokesperson for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) spoke against the execution of an Iraqi man and his two wives in the Kurdistan region. In 2014 UN officials called on the government of Iraq to impose a moratorium on the death penalty in response to a significant rise in executions since the country restored capital punishment in 2005.

From Jurist, Aug. 21. Used with permission.