political agenda protects criminals
Last Updated : GMT 05:17:37
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Last Updated : GMT 05:17:37
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Iraqi Justice Minister Hassan Shammari:

Political agenda protects criminals

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Emiratesvoice, emirates voice Political agenda protects criminals

Iraqi Justice Minister Hassan Shammari
Baghdad - Jaafar Nassrawi     

Iraqi Justice Minister Hassan Shammari Baghdad - Jaafar Nassrawi      Iraqi Justice Minister Hassan Shammari has disclosed the existence of more than 27,000 detainees in Iraqi prisons, noting that 80 percent of them were arrested on \"terrorism\" charges according to Article 4. He also charged the Iraqi presidency of deliberately delaying the ratification of death sentences issued against the criminals, although more than three years have passed since their verdicts were handed by the Supreme Court. Shammari said in an interview with Arabstoday: \"These prisoners get services that even some citizens don\'t...our tolerant religion and laws urge us to take care of our prisoners.\" The official explained that his ministry’s expenses could not be limited, but the department of prison reform for adults had spent 22 billion dinars a month ($20 million) on food, maintenance, fuel and the transferring of convicts. Shammari accused the Iraqi leadership of not issuing a decree that would allow the implementation of the death sentence for certain convicts on purpose, saying there may be a \"political agenda\" behind the delay. Shammari said : “There are dozens of leaders of the Islamic State of Iraq who were sentenced to death three years ago by the Supreme Court, but the presidency has refrained from issuing a decree, without which the Ministry of Justice cannot  implement the punishment.” \"Those convicted are those who were organising an Islamic State of Iraq, affiliated to al-Qaeda, and confessed committing dozens of crimes and killing hundreds of Iraqi people,” he exclaimed. Shammari warned of a political deal which may prevent the ratification and lead to dangerous consequences if those criminals returned to the streets. He also denied that the current law allowed the use of mobile phones by detainees in prisons. The ministry is working to deploy equipment around central prisons to disturb any other device that can be used by prisoners who are sometimes able to obtain mobile phones either by bribing guards or smuggling them through their families. Shammari clarified the ministry would provide a means of communication, subject to monitoring of prisoners, to communicate with their families for five minutes each week. The justice minister said repeated escape attempts from Iraqi prisons were due to the incompetence of the officials assigned there, who were hastily appointed during critical circumstances. \"The ministry is not doing anything to correct this...we lack fortified buildings in accordance with global standards. The ministry shall build some prisons in a number of areas in Iraq spread all over the west and south and will be made so that they are very difficult to break out of,\"  he said. Shammari added that there were active efforts being made by his ministry to sign an exchange of prisoners agreement between Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia. The Iraqi parliament has been notified to ratify those conventions more than once, but the parliament has rejected the proposal without giving reasons. \"More than 200 Iraqi prisoners in Saudi Arabia facing long sentences must be sent back to Iraq so that we can help them in humanitarian terms, such as being close to their families,” he emphasised. Shammari warned of the consequences resulting from Iran\'s mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners, indicating that some lived in appalling conditions to the extent that they could not get safe water for drinking. The complaints were reportedly highlighted by the families of prisoners who urged the ministry to bring them back to Iraq and let them spend the rest of their sentences in Iraqi prisons As for the Iraqi prisoners in Syria, Shammari  said he would discuss with the Iraqi foreign ministry to communicate with the Syrian regime to repatriate them to Iraq because the situation in Syria was \"heading into the unknown\".

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