Skip to main content

Iraq's Anti-Terrorism Law Criticized

Iraq’s anti-terrorism law has been criticized by Amnesty International and by many Iraqis, but the Iraqi government seems to be using the criticisms to promote a "tough on terrorism" image, writes Mushreq Abbas.
Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Rafi Essawi (R) meets with Hassan al-Shammari, head of the Iraqi Islamic al Fadila parliamentary bloc, in Baghdad October 1, 2010. REUTERS/Mohammed Ameen (IRAQ - Tags: POLITICS) - RTXSX67
Read in 

According to Iraqi Justice Minister Hassan al-Shammari, 1,400 Iraqis sentenced to death are awaiting execution. It's a large number, but the Iraqi government justifies it by pointing to the “magnitude of the violence in Iraq.” Opponents, on the other hand, decry “the haphazard application of the Iraqi Anti-Terrorism Law as well as the confusion, criticisms and doubts pervading the Iraqi judiciary.”

Shammari’s announcement of the number of people awaiting the gallows for being involved in violent acts happened on two occasions: first, in an Amnesty International report that ranked Iraq third in the number executions; second, as part of the intensifying demands by Sunni political and popular circles to suspend the death sentences.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.