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MON, 6 APR 2020 Kurdistan Region (GMT +3)
KDP FR ■  MON, 3 FEB 2020 12:47

KRG Welcomes UN’s Recommendations for Fair Trial of IS Members

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) welcomes and takes into consideration the recommendations put forward by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) pertaining to the trial of members of the Islamic State (IS), said KRG’s Coordinator for lnternational Advocacy, Dindar Zebari.

On 28th January, UNAMI and UN Human Rights Office issued a joint report on the trials of IS members in Iraq, recognising the efforts whilst raising some concerns over the legal procedures.

The report “acknowledged that judicial proceedings against ISIL defendants were generally conducted in an orderly manner, were well organized, and judges were routinely prepared with investigation files,” UNAMi published the report on its website.

“It however found that violations of fair trial standards placed defendants at a serious disadvantage compared to the prosecution – with ineffective legal representation and limited possibilities to present or challenge evidence. The over-reliance on confessions, with frequent allegations of torture that were inadequately addressed – while constituting a human rights violation in itself – further added to the concerns,” the report added.

Zebari said in a statement on Monday that the KRG welcomes UN’s supervision over the trial process and it will take into consideration the recommendations the UN has put forward to make sure that the trials are in line with the principles of human rights.

The Kurdish official explained that the Kurdistan Region passed counter-terrorism law after multiple terrorist attacks targeted the Kurdistan Region after 2003. Based on the law, over 2,000 people have so far been tried for suspected links with terrorist groups or activities. He detailed the statistics as below:

  • Erbil Province: 675 people arrested on suspected terrorism, from whom 56 were acquitted.
  • Duhok Province: 1,594 people were arrested, 616 were acquitted.
  • Sulaymaniyah: 35 arrested, and 20 were acquitted.

On torture of detainees, Zebari emphasized that the active laws in Kurdistan Region have banned the use of violent methods and torture against detainees regardless of their offenses. “Anyone using torture against a detainee would be faced with justice,” he added.

Elaborating on death penalty in Kurdistan Region, the Kurdish official said except very rare cases, the implementation of the capital punishment in Kurdistan Region is suspended. He further explained that several death penalties were issued in 2019 without being implemented.

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