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Iraq Carries Out First Post-Hussein Executions

1 September 2005 -- Iraq executed three convicted murderers today, the first time the government has carried out the death penalty since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Government spokesman Laith Kubba said Iraq's presidency had signed the death sentences for the three men found guilty by a criminal court in Wasit Province in southeastern Iraq. The men were convicted of murder, kidnapping, and rape. They were hanged today.

President Jalal Talabani, who opposes capital punishment, did not sign the death sentences. However, he permitted his deputy to sign the sentences on his behalf.