Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Protests at Sadr City, Iraq Demanding Execution of 300 Terror Convicts | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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People gather at the site of suicide blasts in Baghdad’s Sadr City February 28, 2016. REUTERS/Wissm al-Okili

Baghdad-Hundreds of Iraqi citizens organized on Monday dawn an open protest which marched at the Talibiya area near Sadr city entrance, Iraq.

Main streets were cut off, slogans and banners were raised in demand of authorities serving 300 convicted terrorists to capital punishment.

Felons convicted of terror acts, punishable by death according to Iraqi law, are estimated to be hundreds among an original three thousand who have been officially arrested. Despite receiving verdict, many death sentences await implementation.

Demonstrations came as a public response to authorities throwing back and forth different accusations as to which party is responsible for the delay in the delivery of the sentences.

What is more is that the Iraqi parliament is scheduled to have its first newfound legislation session, as to discuss the delay in implementation of death sentences and to issue official decrees relating to the heated subject. The parliamentary session is expected to hold Iraqi President Fuad Masum responsible for the hold up of executions.

Khalid Shwani, the official spokesman of Iraqi president, told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that Iraqi presidency does not desire to put any of the executions on hold– as to the evident delay, he explained that it is relative to constitutional procedures.

Shwani added that President Masum had authorized all findings regarding the death sentences and then redirected documents to the government, being it the party responsible for implementation.

Nonetheless, Iraqi law dictates that convicts receiving capital punishment are permitted to push forward for an appeal hence the delay, Spokesman Shwani added.

Shwani further defended Iraqi presidency citing national constitution, and that judicial authorities process thousands of case files concerning terrorists and those facing capital punishment.

Finally he added that the Iraqi government will be given directions as to lay facts concerning the cases before the public as to grant Iraqis access to judicial proceedings with full transparency.

Demonstrations at the Sadr city caused unprecedented traffic congestion, which caused road patrol to alter the many city courses as to mitigate the heavy traffic.