Iraq executes 21 in one day on `terror` charges
Baghdad: Iraq put 21 men to death on Tuesday, a senior justice ministry official told AFP, the latest in a series of mass executions that have drawn international condemnation.
All of the men were Iraqis and had been convicted on anti-terror charges, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"Twenty-one Iraqis were executed today, according to Article Four of the Anti-Terrorism Law," the official said.
Iraq typically carries out its executions by hanging. The latest executions brought to 50 the number of executions Baghdad has carried out so far this year, despite widespread calls for a moratorium on the country`s use of capital punishment.
Iraq carried out 129 executions in 2012 and Justice Minister Hassan al-Shammari insisted last month that Baghdad would continue to implement the death penalty.
The country`s executions have sparked concern from the United Nations, as well as from Britain, the European Union and rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
Amnesty said in its annual report on capital punishment last week that the use of the death penalty was broadly diminishing around the world, but Iraq remained a black spot.
Al-Qaeda`s front group in Iraq said last month that it carried out a wave of attacks that eventually left 56 people dead as "revenge for those whom you (the government) executed," referring to a total of 18 executions carried out by Iraq on March 14 and 17.
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