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Iraq Executes 11 More Terrorism Convicts Despite International Pleas

Eleven prisoners were executed in Iraq on Sunday after they were convicted of terrorism charges, despite repeated international pleas to end the inhuman practice of state killings of convicted prisoners whatever their offenses may be.

According to the Ministry of Justice, ten Iraqi nationals and one Algerian were put to death on Sunday. The Ministry said all of them were convicted of terrorism charges, noting that they had carried out "killings and explosions against Iraqi people."

The latest executions brought the number of people put to death in Iraq so far this year to at least 113, including the executions of six people convicted of terrorism on Thursday. Several rights groups had earlier expressed concerns about the fairness of trials faced by the condemned men and women in Iraq.

Incidentally, several nations, rights groups and international organizations, including the European Union, Amnesty International and the United Nations, had condemned the practice after 21 prisoners on death row were executed in a single day in Iraq in August. They have since been repeatedly urging the Iraqi government to declare a moratorium on death penalty.

Although executions were halted in Iraq after the ouster of former President Saddam Hussein in the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, they resumed a year later with Iraqi authorities insisting that death penalty was essential to deter increasing insurgent attacks and sectarian violence. Incidentally, Saddam himself was executed by hanging on December 30, 2006.

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