Iraqi-Kurdish parliament pardons death row convicts

Iraqi-Kurdish parliament pardons death row convicts
Erbil's parliament has voted on an amnesty for prisoners on death row, with their sentences reduced to a 15 year jail term except for serious crimes including so-called honour killings.
1 min read
18 December, 2017
Iraqi-Kurdistan will end the death penalty for most crimes [AFP]
Members of Erbil's parliament have voted to abolish the death penalty for convicts held in Iraqi-Kurdistan prisons in a landmark vote for the territories.

Lawmakers decided in a closed session on Sunday to reduce the sentence of those on death row to 15 years, except for serious crimes including terrorism, threatening national security and so-called "honour killings".

Ebil does not regularly carry out executions and the last person put to death was in December 2016 convicted of raping and murdering a girl, according to Rudaw.

As of March 2017 around 250 prisoners were on death row, the Kurdish media outlet reported, although a de-facto monitorium effectively halted executions. 

President Massoud Barzani had the powers authorising executions, but since his resignation responsibility has been handed to Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani.

The Baghdad government is one of the world's leading executioners with 38 people put to death last week in a mass hanging.