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UN asks Iraq to abolish death penalty

The top UN envoy in Iraq is calling on the country's government to abolish the death penalty amid demands by Iraq's interior minister for the swift execution of terror suspects

AP, Friday 10 Dec 2010
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The top UN envoy in Iraq is calling on the country's government to abolish the death penalty amid demands by Iraq's interior minister for the swift execution of terror suspects.

United Nations Special Representative Ad Melkert made his appeal Friday on the 62nd anniversary of a UN treaty calling for worldwide human rights.

Last week, Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani demanded death sentences for 39 suspected insurgents before they have been tried or convicted of involvement in bomb plots in Baghdad.

Melkert's appeal comes after several European governments and the Vatican have requested amnesty for Tariq Aziz, the only Christian in Saddam Hussein's inner circle who was sentenced to death in October for persecuting Shiite political parties.

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