Iraqi parliament considering amnesty for certain prisoners

The central prison in Baghdad, Iraq in December 2020. (Photo: Iraq Ministry of Justice)
The central prison in Baghdad, Iraq in December 2020. (Photo: Iraq Ministry of Justice)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi parliament plans to discuss public amnesty for prisoners convicted of certain crimes, according to a member of the legal affairs committee.

On Wednesday, Hassan Fadham told the Iraqi state news agency that “the move comes from the Committee of Legal Affairs which has prepared two drafts of a new rule on granting public amnesty.”

Amnesty would not be considered for people convicted of administrative and financial corruption, adultery, drug consumption, and other criminal charges. The second draft of the new rule allows prisoners sentenced for misdemeanors to buy the remainder of their sentence time.

Iraq struggles with over-populated prisons as arbitrary arrests in the country have led to heavy confinement. Human rights groups periodically report on poor conditions in Iraq's prisons, which they say provide only a bare minimum of services. 

Following the territorial defeat of ISIS, there has been a surge in arbitrary arrests, particularly in the areas liberated from the terror group.

Fadham said that the draft bills were almost ready, and were waiting for the “green light” from the Council’s presidency to submit the request.

He also said he expects the Iraqi Council of Representatives to vote in favor of amnesty.

Editing by Joanne Stocker-Kelly