Monday, 12 February 2007

Imminent execution/possible death sentence

- From Amnesty International USA

To read the current Urgent Action newsletter, go to

12 February 2007

Further Information on UA 02/07 (04 January 2007) and
follow-ups (15 January 2007; 02 February 2007) - Imminent
execution/possible death sentence

IRAQ Taha Yassin Ramadhan (m)

Former Iraqi vice-president Taha Yassin Ramadhan was
sentenced to death on 12 February by the Supreme Iraqi
Criminal Tribunal (SICT). The case will be referred back to
the SICT’s Appeals Chamber. However, since it was the
Appeals Chamber that requested his previous sentence of life
imprisonment to be increased, he is at risk of being
executed within 30 days.

Taha Yassin Ramadhan received a life sentence on 5 November
in connection with the execution of 148 people from the
village of al-Dujail, north of Baghdad, after a failed
attempt to assassinate the then president, Saddam Hussain,
in 1982. However, on 26 December the SICT’s Appeals Chamber
referred the case back to the court, requesting a harsher
sentence. According to the SICT’s statute, death sentences
have to be carried out within 30 days and those sentenced to
death cannot be pardoned by the president.

Two of Taha Yassin Ramadhan’s co-defendants, former Iraqi
officials Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti and ‘Awad Hamad al-
Bandar, were hanged on 15 January. The third, Saddam
Hussain, had been hanged on 30 December.


Since the reintroduction of the death penalty in Iraq in
August 2004, scores of people have been sentenced to death
and there has been a rapid rise in the number of executions,
with at least 65 people put to death in 2006 alone, many of
them after trials which may have been unfair.

On 11 February 2007 the Iraqi authorities announced that 14
people had been executed in ‘‘recent weeks’‘ for murder,
rape and kidnapping. Among them were Thanun Yunis Salim,
reportedly for his involvement of the killing of 65 people,
and Ahmad Hamad Hassan, who reportedly confessed to the
bombing of a mosque in Babil province, south of Baghdad,
which left 65 people dead. No further details are available.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly
as possible, in English or your own language:
- expressing concern that Taha Yassin Ramadhan has been
sentenced to death and is at risk of being executed within
30 days;
- expressing concern that the proceedings against him at the
Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal failed to meet international
fair trial standards;
- urging the authorities to have Taha Yassin Ramadhan
retried in accordance with international fair trial
- urging the authorities to commute his death sentence;
- urging them to ensure that all trials before the Supreme
Iraqi Criminal Tribunal are fair, and that the court will no
longer have recourse to the death penalty.

(In addition to sending direct appeals to the email
addresses that are available below, please also send appeals
via the Iraqi embassy listed below, asking them to forward
your appeals to these officials. Thanks!)

Jalal Talabani
Salutation: Your Excellency

Prime Minister:
Nuri Kamil al-Maliki
Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister of Justice:
Hashim al-Shibli
Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister of Foreign Affairs:
Hoshyar Zebari
Salutation: Your Excellency

(Please also ask them to send copies to the Human Rights
Minister, Wajdan Mikhail.)
His Excellency Samir Sumaida’ie
Ambassador to the United States
Embassy of the Republic of Iraq
1801 P Street
Washington DC 20036
Fax: 1 202 462 5066
Phone: 1 202 483 7500

Action office, if sending appeals after 26 March 2007.

Tip of the Month:
Stay inspired, because letter writing works! Upon his
recent release from prison in Turkmenistan, the wife of
environmental defender Andrei Zatoka declared: ‘‘We
won! Andrei is free!’’ For more success stories to keep
you inspired or to share with friends, contact the UA office
or visit

Within the United States:
$0.24 - Postcards
$0.39 - Letters and Cards (up to 1 oz.)
To Mexico and Canada:
$0.55 - Postcards
$0.63 - Airmail Letters and Cards (up to 1 oz.)
$0.75 - Aerogrammes
To all other destination countries:
$0.75 - Postcards
$0.84 - Airmail Letters and Cards (up to 1 oz.)
$0.75 - Aerogrammes

Amnesty International is a worldwide grassroots movement
that promotes and defends human rights.

This Urgent Action may be reposted if kept intact, including
contact information and stop action date (if applicable).
Thank you for your help with this appeal.

Urgent Action Network
Amnesty International USA
600 Pennsylvania Ave SE 5th fl
Washington DC 20003
Phone: 202.544.0200
Fax: 202.675.8566


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