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UN: Iraq's Use Of Death Penalty 'Obscene, Inhuman'

The United Nations' human rights office says the execution of 42 people by Iraq during the past two days was an "inhuman" and likely illegal use of the death penalty.

Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said mass executions of this sort "are not only obscene and inhuman, they are most probably in contravention of international law."

Iraq's Justice Ministry said on October 11 that the authorities on October 10 had executed 42 people, including a woman, all convicted on terrorism-related charges.

Colville said the latest executions were "particularly perverse" given that Thursday was World Day Against the Death Penalty.

Iraqi authorities have carried out 132 executions so far this year. Pillay has previously compared Iraq's use of the death penalty with the processing of animals in a slaughterhouse.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP