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Iraq: UN urges Government to eschew death penalty

UN envoy in Iraq urges Government to eschew death penalty

Reacting to the recent application of capital punishment in Iraq, the senior envoy to the country has urged the Government to desist from carrying out executions.

On Wednesday, Iraqi Vice-President Adel Abdel Medhi signed a decree authorizing the execution of three men convicted of kidnapping, killing and rape.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative, Ashraf Qazi, issued a statement today voicing deep regret over the decision, citing the UN Human Rights Commission's condemnation of the death penalty.

Mr. Qazi also emphasized that “in the process of transition that Iraq is experiencing, one should look at consolidating the right to life instead of imposing the death penalty which has a very poor recognized effect in deterring crimes.”

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