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Iraq executes 11 people on terrorism charges

Rights groups voice concern over ready use of the death penalty in Iraq.

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An Iraqi woman hold up a poster during a protest in central Najaf, 150 kms south of Baghdad on November 14, 2009. Some 800 Iraqis from all over the southern provinces gathered in Najaf to call on Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki cancel the death sentences passed on their jailed relatives and to release them. (Qassem Zein/AFP/Getty Images)

Iraq executed 11 people on terrorism charges on Sunday, reported BBC News, bringing the country's total executions this year to 113.

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There are serious concerns over judicial and political corrpution in Iraq, leading rights groups to call for an end to the use of the death penalty there. 

Iraq's justice ministry told BBC that one Algerian and 10 Iraqis were put to death, while CNN cited a statement from the ministry saying the accused "had carried out killings and explosions against Iraqi people."

The United Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, has described the number of executions in Iraq as "terrifying," according to BBC, while Human Rights Watch in January warned that the rights situation there is worse than it was a year ago. 

Executions were prohibited after the 2003 overthrow of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, but Iraqi authorities brought it back in 2004 on the grounds it was necessary to battle extremism, reported to CNN

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/iraq/121008/iraq-executes-11-people-terrorism-charges