ADVANTAGES

Sectarian conflict continues to be a serious problem in Iraq and within the criminal justice system, the majority of individuals imprisoned and sentenced to death are Sunni Arabs who remain a minority group in Iraq. Reports also indicated serious problems with sectarian extrajudicial executions of imprisoned individuals.

Some discrimination in the application of the death penalty may be avoided in the Kurdistan region, home of Iraq’s major ethnic minority region, which is administered by a regional government with its own courts. However, the death penalty could still be administered differently between regions, and could be administered in a uniquely discriminatory fashion within each region. For example, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s stance towards some non-Kurds is at times hostile.

Some lawyers refuse to represent individuals accused of terrorism, particularly individuals of sectarian minorities, which could lead to discriminatory application of the death penalty.

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