ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – An Iraqi court in the province of Diyala on Sunday sentenced an al-Qaeda member to death, convicted of killing 19 people in an attack on a village 11 years ago, the court announced.
Last week, the same court sentenced four more al-Qaeda members to death who were convicted of carrying out attacks in the country in 2007.
“The Diyala Criminal Court has sentenced to death by hanging one of those convicted of terrorism after committing criminal acts and belonging to al-Qaeda,” Judge Abdul-Sattar al-Birqdar, the spokesperson for the Supreme Judicial Council, said in a statement.
He added that “among the terrorist operations carried out by the convict, the man killed 19 people, kidnapped two others, and wounded one person after an attack with the armed group [al-Qaeda] on the village of Amiriyah - al-Rawashd in Diyala Province.”
Last year, a court in Basra sentenced three people to death for the same attack carried out by several al-Qaeda militants in late July 2007 in the village of al-Rawashd.
The exact number of those accused of the incident remains unknown. It is also unclear how many other convicted members of the extremist group are in Iraqi prisons awaiting the same fate.
Different human rights organizations, including the United Nations, have repeatedly expressed their concerns about the rising number of death sentences in Iraq.
Aside from their condemnation, the organizations warn that efforts by Iraqi authorities to escalate the implementation of death sentences could lead to the execution of innocent people.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany