Iraq hangs 38 members of ISIS, Al-Qaeda for 'terrorism'

Iraqis celebrate the defeat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in Baghdad on Dec 10, 2017.
Iraqis celebrate the defeat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in Baghdad on Dec 10, 2017. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

NASIRIYAH, Iraq (AFP) - Iraq hanged 38 militants belonging to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda for terrorism offences on Thursday (Dec 14) in the southern city of Nasiriyah, provincial authorities said.

It was the largest number of executions in a single day since September 25 when 42 people were put to death in the same prison.

"The prison administration executed on Thursday in the presence of Justice Minister Haidar al-Zameli, in Nasiriyah prison, 38 death row prisoners belonging to Al-Qaeda or Daesh (ISIS) accused of terrorist activities," said Dakhel Kazem, a senior official in the provincial council.

They were all Iraqis but one also had Swedish citizenship, a prison source said.

Amnesty International has voiced repeated concerns about the use of the death penalty in Iraq, which it ranks as one of the world's top executioners behind China, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Saturday declared victory against ISIS after a three-year campaign by government forces backed by a US-led coalition to retake territory seized by the militants.