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Iraq: Amnesty Appalled by Execution of 12 Nepalese

Iraq: Amnesty International appalled by execution of 12 Nepalese

Amnesty International is shocked by today's news of the execution of 12 Nepalese men who had been taken hostage in Iraq. Amnesty International appeals for the immediate and unconditional release of all remaining hostages and urges all armed groups to cease such activities.

"Nothing can justify such horrendous acts that disregard the most precious right -- the right to life," said Amnesty International. "These acts may have a negative impact for all Iraqis who are eager to live a normal life and see human rights respected."

An Iraqi militant group called the Army of Ansar al-Sunna published pictures on a website showing the presumed bodies of the hostages after their execution. The victims were employed by a Jordanian firm in Iraq. The group described the killings as "the sentence of God against the Nepalese who came from their country to fight the Muslims and to serve the Jews and the Christians ... believing in Buddha as their God." The group announced that it had kidnapped the 12 men earlier this month.

"The brutality with which these and other hostages have been killed and the way their execution has been displayed show the executioners' total disregard for human life," said Amnesty International.

Amnesty International appeals for the immediate and unconditional release of French journalists, Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot, whose kidnappers threatened to kill them unless the French Government reverses a ban on headscarf for school girls in France.

The organization also urges the Interim Government of Iraq to maintain security, law and order and bring the perpetrators to justice.

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