Friday, March 10, 2006

Militants hanged; Abu Ghraib to close

The world media reported yesterday what had been rumored for quite a while -- that the US will definitively close Abu Ghraib prison. The transfer of thousands of prisoners to Camp Cropper detention facilities at the airport in Baghdad will occur when construction of the larger facility there is finished. Currently Saddam Hussein and other "high value" detainees are being held there.

In related news from Iraq, it was also reported yesterday that 13 confessed militants were hanged yesterday by the Iraqi government. It is only the second (judicial) application of the death penalty since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, its application was suspended during the US occupation. The Iraqi government can legally execute people convicted of murder, "endangering national security" and drug distribution. Only one of the hanged was indentified by name. (The first hangings in September 2005 were of "common criminals.") Interestingly, Prime Minister Jalal Talabani is against the death penalty, but allowed his deputies to sign the death warrants.

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