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UN compares Iraq death penalty use to slaughter

Friday - 4/19/2013, 6:44am  ET

Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki greets supporters following a campaign rally in Basra, Iraq's second-largest city, 340 miles (550 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, April 15, 2013. Al-Maliki resumed his election campaign after the early voting for security forces in the country's provincial elections. (AP Photo/ Nabil al-Jurani)

GENEVA (AP) -- The U.N.'s top human rights officials is condemning Iraq's widespread use of the death penalty, comparing it to a slaughterhouse.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says Iraq's justice system is "too seriously flawed to warrant even a limited application of the death penalty," let alone its execution of 33 people in the past month or its plans to put another 150 people to death.

Pillay said in a statement Friday that "executing people in batches like this is obscene. It is like processing animals in a slaughterhouse."

Her office says Iraq executed 129 people in 2012.

At a press briefing her spokesman, Rupert Colville, derided the executions as a "conveyor belt of executions" and said 1,400 people are believed to be on death row in Iraq.


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