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UN Rights Committee Urges Iraq To Reduce Use Of Death Penalty

The UN Human Rights Committee has urged Iraq to reduce its use of the death penalty and crack down on widespread abuses, including torture and rape in detention.

The committee on November 5 reported on "the great number of cases in which the death penalty is imposed and the frequency of its application" in Iraq.

It said Iraq allegedly is handing down death sentences based on confessions obtained through torture.

Committee member Yuval Shany says Iraq has executed about 240 people since late 2013 and about 1,700 prisoners remain on death row.

He said the UN committee, which oversees global rules on civil and political rights, had not received any estimates of how many executions have been carried out by Islamic State militants in Iraq.

The committee is urging Iraq to abolish the death penalty or at least ensure that executions are only for the most serious crimes.

With reporting by AFP and AP