World Bulletin / News Desk
A little over two years since US troops pulled out of Iraq after supposedly ‘liberating’ it from the dictatorship of executed leader Saddam Hussein, the new so called democratic system under Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is not proving to be much different.
Accusing the Prime Minister of enforcing Shiite Muslim domination over the government, a number of tribes in the predominantly Sunni Muslim region of Anbar have revolted against Maliki’s government. Maliki has blamed the revolt on armed Al-Qaeda linked rebels and has ordered his troops to pound the region.
However, it seems that anyone who opposes Maliki’s new regime is automatically labeled as a ‘terrorist’ and runs the risk of being executed. Last year, around 1,200 men and women were on death row in Iraq after admitting to committing crimes, in many cases signing confessions under torture. Last week, 26 people were executed in Baghdad for committing acts of ‘terrorism.’
One particular detainee on death row is Saudi national Abdullah al-Qahtani, who was jailed for an armed robbery on a goldsmith’s shop in November 2009. He was accused of carrying out the robbery to fund terrorism.
However, Abdullah al-Qahtani was later proven to have already been in police custody between October 2009 and April 2010 on immigration charges, so it would have been impossible for him to have carried out the robbery. Despite this being stated in official government papers, his hanging still looms.
As he currently waits to be taken to the execution chamber, his lawyer has reported to the Independent’s Robert Fisk that al-Qahtani has been subjected to torture, including being hung up by the wrists and beaten with a broom stick. He also has cigarette burns on his body.
Furthermore, his lawyer stated that even though all of his co-defendants later retracted their confessions due to it having been given under torture, all of them were executed regardless.
Questions have also been raised on the way executions are carried out. One investigator reported that one death row detainee was hanged before he could be given a chance to say his last words. However, due to the rope being too long, the detainee survived the first attempt. This was immediately followed by two more failed attempts to hang him.
After the authorities realized that the hanging wasn’t going according to plan, he was taken to a corner and shot in the head.Last Mod: 27 Ocak 2014, 17:49