NO TO RESTORATION OF THE DEATH PENALTY!

11/08/2004
Press release
en fr

Following the announcement on Sunday August 8th, 2004 by the Interim Iraqi Government to restore the application of death penalty, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) expresses once again its opposition to this punishment, under any circumstances and anywhere.

Even if the official reasons put forward by the government led by Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allaoui state that the Iraqi public opinion is in its great majority in favor of the death penalty and that this radical measure is the only way to deter an increase of violence in Iraq, the FIDH recalls that death penalty contradicts the notion of human human dignity and liberty.

The FIDH also reaffirms that the deterrent character of the death penalty in countries where it is in force remains uncertain and that the evolution of international law shows on the contrary a tendency to the abolition of such a measure. The conditions of detention on death row often amounts to inhuman and degrading treatments.

The death penalty has been in force in Iraq since 1920; it was suspended in 2003 by the former Head of the United States Central Command, General Tommy Franks, at the outbreak of military operations launched by the American-British forces against the regime of Saddam Hussein; the Coalition, under the authority of Paul Bremer, subsequently maintained this suspension.

The FIDH believes that keeping this moratorium would have been the occasion for the new Iraqi authorities to show their will to rely on the universal values which constitute the fundamental basis for the rule of law.

The FIDH calls upon the Iraqi authorities to renounce to their decision to restore the death penalty and, in the framework of the current legislative reforms, to abolish it.

Moreover, the FIDH calls the new Iraqi government to comply with its international obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, ratified by Iraq in 1976.

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