Iraq executes 36 men convicted of Isis massacre that killed 1,700

Isis posted graphic video of soldiers being forced to lay down by trench before they were shot

Samuel Osborne@SamuelOsborne93
Sunday 21 August 2016 11:55
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Soldiers stand by a mass grave containing the bodies of those killed in the Speicher massacre
Soldiers stand by a mass grave containing the bodies of those killed in the Speicher massacre

Iraq has executed 36 men convicted of taking part in an Isis massacre of hundreds of soldiers in 2014, despite protests from human rights organisations.

The men were hanged at the Nasiriyah prison in southern Iraq on Sunday, governor Yahya al-Nasirir said.

Isis captured an estimated 1,700 soldiers from the Speicher military base when it overran the northern city of Tikrit in the summer of 2014. The soldiers were trying to flee from the former US base.

Shortly after taking the base, Isis posted graphic video showing the soldiers being forced to lie face down by a shallow trench before they were shot dead.

The men executed on Sunday were arrested after Iraqi forces retook Tikrit in 2015. They were sentenced to death by an Iraqi court earlier this year.

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Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has attempted to fast-track the implementation of death sentences following a series of large-scale bombings in and around Baghdad in recent months.

The United Nations criticised that policy earlier this month, saying that "given the weakness of the Iraqi justice system," the rushed sentences risk causing "greater injustice".

Iraq ranks among the top five countries in the world in the use of capital punishment, according to figures compiled by the rights group Amnesty International.

Additional reporting by AP

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