Press release - 182(2007)

Stop executions in Iraq
Statement by Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Strasbourg, 20.03.2007 - Executions in Iraq are no longer botched, but they are still inhuman. I regret that the Iraqi authorities have ignored the concerns of the international community and gone ahead with the hanging of Taha Yasin Ramadan, a former Vice-President to Saddam Hussein. At the time he was sentenced, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour warned that his execution would violate international law.

Against the background of the daily bloodbath on the streets of Iraq, the authorities should focus on arresting criminals who are still at large, rather than executing those already in prison. The death penalty is not justice, and state orchestrated killings are not only undermining the credibility and the international reputation of the Iraqi government, but also the prospects for a peaceful and just future for the Iraqi people.

Council of Europe Press Division
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 25 60
Fax:+33 (0)3 88 41 39 11