Iraq 'to review Sunni MP's death sentence'

Iraq 'to review Sunni MP's death sentence'
Ahmed al-Alwani's supporters say they have assurances sentence will not be carried out, amid warnings the former Anbar MP's execution would destroy national reconciliation efforts and aid the Islamic State group.
2 min read
27 November, 2014
Protests erupted over the MP's arrest [Getty]

A Sunni leader from Anbar is to have his death sentence reviewed after protests by Iraqi MPs and local politicians amid warnings his execution could destroy national reconciliation efforts, al-Araby al-Jadeed has learned.

Ahmed al-Alwani, a former MP for the province, was sentenced to death on 23 November by a Baghdad court for the murder of two soldiers. He had already been in prison for more than a year charged with incitement for leading protests against the Shia former prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki.

On Thursday, Jassim Mohammad al-Halbousi, a member of the Anbar provincial council, said that he had received assurances that the death sentence would not be carried out.

"The delegates following up on Alwani's case, led by Vice-President Osama Nujaifi, received assurances and pledges from President Fouad Masoum and Prime Minister Haidar Abadi to reconsider Alwani's death sentence," he said. 

"There is an urgent need to stop the execution, and Abadi will understand this the most. The sentence deals a severe blow to Abadi's national reconciliation efforts."

     There is an urgent need to stop the execution, and Abadi will understand this.
 - Jassim al-Halbousi, Anbar provincial council


Mohammad al-Karbouli, an MP for Iraq's Anbar province, told al-Araby that many politicians had been trying to resolve the case, although he did not name Alwani's supporters.

Karbouli said he doubted the integrity of the investigation against the Suni leader, claiming it was the subject of "political interference".

Iraq's parliamentary speaker, Salim al-Jabouri, had earlier warned of strife across the country if Alwani were executed.


The western province of Anbar has been a strategic stronghold for the Islamic State group and its predecessors for several years. The IS group controls large areas of the province and government attempts to retake territory have been largely unsuccessful.

Tribes loyal to Alwani and aligned with the central government were reported to have stopped fighting the IS group at the weekend on hearing the news of his death sentence.

Many Iraqi politicians criticised the verdict and warned of its implications for the national reconciliation movement between Sunni and Shia. They also said that the sentence served the interests of the IS group.

This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.