Aug. 10, 2004 – The decision by Iraqâ€™s interim government to reinstate the death penalty for those convicted of murder, endangering national security and distributing drugs is drawing heavy criticism from international human rights groups. A spokesperson from Amnesty Internationalâ€™s British office said it was a "sad day for the families of those thousands executed under Saddam Hussein when their government reverts to the inhumane penalties that were so widely used in the past."
The death penalty had been suspended by the former US-led Coalition authority last year.
Iraqâ€™s ministers of state and human rights said the reinstatement was intended to be temporary and that the death penalty would be lifted when security conditions in Iraq improved. It is not clear if the death penalty would be applied to Saddam Hussein if he were convicted on war crimes charges.