Iraq hangs 11 prisoners convicted of terrorism charges

All were ISIS militants, says official, in second execution after hanging of 13 prisoners last month

Peshmerga forces setting off on an operation to liberate villages from ISIS, south-east of Mosul, Iraq, in August 2016. EPA
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Iraq on Monday executed 11 people convicted of terrorism-related charges, a government official at the Ministry of Justice told The National on Tuesday.

All were ISIS militants who had been involved in attacks against security forces, bombings and assassinations, the official said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to make a statement.

“The Ministry of Justice only carries out these death sentences after they are ratified by the Iraqi President,” he said.

Monday’s batch is the second since late last month when authorities executed 13 prisoners.

Of those, 11 were ISIS militants, while the other two had criminal convictions.

Both the groups were executed by hanging in the southern Iraqi province of Thi Qar, the official added.

The province is the home to Al Hoot prison where some of Iraq's most dangerous criminals are detained, including ISIS militants and officials from the government of Saddam Hussein.

After the US-led invasion in 2003, coalition officials suspended Iraq’s death penalty, but it was reinstated in 2004 by the transitional government.

Human rights groups have questioned trial procedures in Iraqi courts, alleging that some verdicts are based on evidence obtained by torture or forced statements.

International observers fear the legal process is faulty and that some trials are politically motivated.

In the summer of 2014, ISIS overran large parts of Iraq and Syria, declaring a caliphate that spanned areas of both countries.

Iraqi forces, backed by a US-led international coalition, reclaimed all the ISIS-held territory in Iraq in late 2017, after three years of fighting.

However, the terrorist group still carries out hit-and-run attacks, particularly in the vast desert regions of northern and western Iraq, near the border with Syria.

Since the group's defeat, Iraqi authorities have put hundreds of ISIS fighters on trial.

Legal and security authorities have not issued specific numbers of how many ISIS fighters have been executed or are on death row.

Updated: May 07, 2024, 9:04 AM