Iraq has put 17 people to death, 16 of them on terrorism-related charges, the justice ministry said Monday, the latest in a series of executions that have drawn international condemnation.
They are the first executions announced by the ministry since brazen July assaults on two major prisons freed hundreds of prisoners, including some who had been sentenced to death, drawing criticism within Iraq that executions were proceeding too slowly.
“The justice ministry carried out 17 death sentences,” a statement on the ministry’s website said, without specifying when the executions took place.
The statement quoted Justice Minister Hassan al-Shammari as saying that 16 of those executed were convicted under Article 4 of the country’s anti-terrorism law, while the seventeenth was sentenced to death for an unspecified criminal offence.
One of those executed was an Egyptian national, while the rest were Iraqis.
With the latest executions, at least 67 people have been executed in Iraq so far this year, according to reports from the justice ministry and officials.
Iraq carried out 129 executions in 2012 and Shammari insisted earlier this year that Baghdad would continue to implement the death penalty.