One of the satellite channels held a televised meeting with the current Iraqi President Fuad Masum, in which he was asked about the files of executions that reach the presidency in order to be approved, Mr. Fouad Masoum said” Are there any files that we receive that someone has collaborated with ISIS - nothing until now”,
He added “All the files of executions that we receive are criminal files, we have not received cases about people involved in the practice of real ISIS terrorism”, and when the journalist asked the President “ Since 2014”, the President answered “Since 2014 and to date, one has not been arrested yet because they are suicide bombers”.
ISIS (or what is called Da'esh) dominated large areas of Iraq in 2014, after which former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced the war on terrorism in cooperation with the international coalition to fight Da’esh. Military operations began to expel ISIS members from Iraqi cities.
These operations continued during the period of the current Prime Minister Haider Abadi, military operations continued until 2017, the current Prime Minister Haider Abadi announced the end of military operations against Da'ash in December 2017.
On the 24th July 2018, a spokesman for the Supreme Judicial Council, Abdul Sattar al-Birqdar, issued a statement in which he said “The second body in the Criminal Court of Salah al-Din considered the cases of 3 accused of blowing up a car bomb in the district of Tikrit, in 15th Mars 2017, which resulted in the death and wounded of a number of citizens, and the investigation and evidence obtained proved the perpetrators of the crime and belonging to ISIS, The court issued its decision to execute the defendants in accordance with article 4 of the anti-terrorism law”.
This is the last death sentence announced by the Supreme Judicial Council. Ministry of Justice announced in a statement issued on June 29, 2018, the Ministry of Justice has carried out the death penalty with 13 convicts, among the charges that were directed to those convicted is the charge of belonging to terrorist groups, They were executed on 28 June 2018.
President of the Republic Fuad Masoum, as stated in the interview, denies that he has ratified death sentences against anyone belonging to ISIS. The president says in the interview "There are doubts in the initial proceedings, the existence of complaints and at the retrial shows that the accused is innocent”.
So, does the Ministry of Justice carry out the death penalty without its ratification by the Presidency?
The Iraqi Council of Representatives approved in 2017, the law amending the Criminal Procedure Law No. 23 of 1971. Under the new law, the Ministry of Justice has the right to execute death sentences against convicts without the approval of the presidency after 30 days, in which case the law gives authorization to the Ministry of Justice to carry out the executions after 30 days. Since then, the number of executions has increased and executed in a scene similar to massacres according to the UN Human Rights Council.
According to international and human rights organizations, the Iraqi judiciary is unfair, the trials do not follow international regulations, during which many violations have occurred, including the absence of a legal representative representing the accused, in addition to the victim being subjected to physical and psychological abuse in order to extract confessions.
There was a precedent for INTERPOL International, where it declined to deal with the Iraqi government because of reports that confirmed sectarianism and unfairness of the judiciary. Most of the arrests were the result of a tip-off from a secret informer.
The ruling sectarian parties in Iraq have planted many judges in the Ministry of Justice, which helped to spread sectarianism and racism in dealing with the accused, especially since most of the detainees are from areas that are predominantly Sunni Arabs. This confirms that the executions were motivated by revenge and were the result of sectarian incitement by the ruling parties and armed sectarian militias.
International human rights organizations as well as the United Nations have called on Iraq more than once to suspend the use of the death penalty until the reform of the judicial system and judicial procedures, but the Iraqi government continues to follow the same policy and approach. Therefore, we call on the United Nations to transfer the file of executions in Iraq to the UN Security Council in order for the Iraqi government to suspend the death penalty.
The issuance of the death penalty without taking into account legal procedures and according to international standards will lead to the death penalty being given to innocent people, and cause a crime against those sentenced to death. This crime is a violation of the International Covenant and the UN Charter of Human Rights, a crime against humanity, a breach of the Geneva Convention and a war crime.