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Iraqi PM Wants to Reconsider General Amnesty Law | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi looks on during a joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at the end of a meeting at Chigi Palace in Rome, Italy February 10, 2016. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Baghdad- Six years of debate have ended with the Iraqi president’s approval of the general amnesty law which was adopted by the Iraqi parliament last month. But its implementation generated disputes in the legal and political circles.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi wondered if this law will be applicable given that it could lead to the release of terrorists.

Abadi announced during his weekly press conference that some clauses of the general amnesty law include the release of kidnappers, terrorists and drug traffickers as well as rapists.

Wondering how the parliament voted on such a law, the PM said: “The government decided to propose a quick amendment to the parliament in this regard.”

MP Mahmoud al-Hasan, member of State of Law Coalition, responded to Abadi’s remarks by saying that the General Amnesty law won’t include those who killed on sectarian or extremism bases.

Hasan warned of tampering with the final version of the law or changing the version that was approved by the parliament. He added that this is punishable by law and could lead to 15 years in prison.

MP from National Iraqi Alliance Raed al-Dahlaki told Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that approving this law had opened a new page of coexistence in Iraq especially that many of the confessions of prisoners were made under duress.

MP Awatef Nehmeh, who is in the same alliance as Dahlaki, said that such a law is a crime against the Iraqi people, especially to those who hadn’t received compensations for terrorist attacks.

Dahlaki believes the reason for disagreements regarding the law is the lack of political will, which is making things worse. Dahlaki explained that many reports issued by state and non-governmental organizations reveal that many prisoners had been unjustly incarcerated and that this law will grant them a chance to start all over again.

Yet, Nehmeh said that the law was challenged because Iraq suffers from an unstable security situation and this law will put terrorists back on the streets