UA 218/11 IRAQ - FIVE EX-OFFICIALS FACING EXECUTION IN IRAQ
18 juli 2011
Five Iraqi men who were officials under Saddam Hussain before his overthrow in 2003 face imminent execution after they were handed over to Iraqi authorities by the US military on 14 July. If, as expected, the Iraqi presidency ratifies their sentences, they could be executed within days.
Watban Ibrahim Hassan al-Tikriti, is a former Minister of Interior and Sab’awi Ibrahim Hassan al-Tikriti, was formerly Head of Intelligence; both are half brothers of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussain, who was executed in December 2006. The two men were sentenced to death in 2009 by the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal (SICT) after being convicted of crimes against humanity. Sultan Hashem Ahmad and Hussain Rashid al-Tikriti were senior army and security officials under Saddam Hussein; they were sentenced to death by the SICT in 2007 for their roles in the government’s so-called Anfal campaign of 1988 in which some 180,000 Iraqi Kurds died. ‘Aziz Saleh Nu’man, also a senior official under Saddam Hussain, was sentenced to death in June 2011 by the SICT for his role in the brutal suppression of the 1991 Shi’a uprising against Saddam Hussain in southern Iraq.
The five men were transferred to Iraqi custody on 14 July and their execution could be carried out within a month. Their appeals have been upheld and their death sentences are now pending approval by the President’s office. An official from the Iraqi government told the Iraqi press that he believed ‘the council will sign the death sentences within days and they will be executed within a month’.
Please write immediately in English, Arabic or your own language:
* Calling on the authorities not to carry out the execution of Watban Ibrahim Hassan al-Tikriti, Sab’awi Ibrahim Hassan al-Tikriti , Sultan Hashem Ahmad, Hussain Rashid al-Tikriti and ‘Aziz Saleh Nu’man;
* Recognizing that governments have an obligation to bring to justice those responsible for serious crimes but insisting that the death penalty is a violation of the right to life and the ultimate form of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, and should not be applied even for crimes of the greatest magnitude;
* Calling on the authorities to commute all other death sentences and declare an immediate moratorium on executions.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS TO THE IRAQI EMBASSY OR CONSULAR REPRESENTATION IN YOUR COUNTRY BEFORE 14 AUGUST 2011:
Nuri Kamil al-Maliki Convention Centre (Qasr al-Ma’aridh)
Salutation: Your Excellency
Convention Centre (Qasr al-Ma’aridh) Baghdad, Iraq
Salutation: Your Excellency
And copies to:
Minister of Justice
Hassan al Shammari
Minister of Human Rights
Mohammad Shayaa al-Sudani
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
100 41 STOCKHOLM
FAX 08-796 83 66
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
FIVE EX-OFFICIALS FACING EXECUTION IN IRAQ
The five ex-officials now at risk of execution all held senior posts under Saddam Hussain, whose rule was marked by gross human rights violations. Following his overthrow by a US-led coalition in 2003, the new authorities established the SICT to try the former President and others accused of responsibility for the gross crimes committed by his administration; however, trials under the SICT have not conformed to international standards of fair trial and the court has been subject to political interference undermining its independence.
Despite their trials and conviction by the SICT, the five ex-officials continued to be held in the custody of US forces until last week, when they were handed over to the Iraqi authorities. Amnesty International does not know whether the US authorities sought or received any assurances from the Iraqi government before agreeing to the handover of the five ex-officials, including any assurance that they will not be executed.
The death penalty, which had been very widely used under Saddam Hussain, was suspended for a time after the US-led invasion of Iraq but restored by the new Iraqi authorities in August 2004. Since then, hundreds of people have been sentenced to death and many have been executed. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty unconditionally, as it is the ultimate form of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
Name: Watban Ibrahim Hassan al-Tikriti, Sab’awi Ibrahim Hassan al-Tikriti , Sultan Hashem Ahmad, Hussain Rashid al-Tikriti and ‘Aziz Saleh Nu’man
Gender m/f: All male