UNITED NATIONS

Press Release



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HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS URGES IRAQ TO RESPECT FAIR TRIAL STANDARDS IN APPEALS OF VERDICTS HANDED DOWN ON 5 NOVEMBER


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5 November 2006
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour today urged Iraqi authorities to ensure that the right of appeal of persons convicted and sentenced today by the Iraqi High Tribunal be fully respected.

"A credible appeals process is an essential part of fair-trial guarantees", the High Commissioner said. "This is particularly important in this instance, in which the death penalty has been imposed. Those convicted today should have every opportunity to exhaust their appellate remedies in a fair way, and whatever the outcome of an appeal, I hope the Government will observe a moratorium on executions", she added.


The High Commissioner said guaranteeing the right to a fair trial of persons accused of major human rights violations was key to consolidating and strengthening the very important process of ensuring justice and countering impunity that Iraq had embarked upon.