UN calls Iraq death penalty ‘obscene and inhuman’

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N.’s human rights office says Iraq’s execution of 42 people over the past two days is an “inhuman” and likely illegal use of the death penalty.

Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the U.N.’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, says mass executions of this sort “are not only obscene and inhuman, they are most probably in contravention of international law.”

Iraq’s Justice Ministry said Friday authorities executed 42 people, including a woman, convicted on terrorism-related charges, bringing the number of executions in Iraq this year to 132.

Pillay has previously compared Iraq’s use of the death penalty to processing animals in a slaughterhouse.

Colville told reporters Friday the latest executions are “particularly perverse given that yesterday was World Day Against the Death Penalty.”

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