Iraq sentences 14 more to death for involvement in ISIS Speicher massacre
Iraqi judicial authorities have sentenced 14 people to death for participating in the 2014 execution of hundreds of Iraqi air force cadets claimed by the Islamic State (IS) in the northern city of Tikrit.
“The Iraqi judiciary sentenced 14 main defendants in the Speicher massacre,” Moen al-Kazemi, the head of a government committee on the massacre, said in a statement released on Sunday.
“The trial of the defendants was conducted under Iraq’s anti-terrorism act,” he said.
Kazemi noted that the verdicts are still subject to appeal.
“Families of the victims have called for the accelerated implementation of the verdict,” he added, which would follow suit with previous convictions of other Speicher Massacre participants.
After occupying much of northern and western of Iraq, the jihadist group on June 12, 2014, killed over 1,500 cadets and personnel at the Speicher military academy located in the province of Salahuddin.
In video footage released online by IS, militants were seen executing their prisoners with a single, close-range shot to the head before dumping their bodies into the Tigris river.
Two years later, the government of Iraq announced they had discovered the bodies of more than 1,000 victims after uncovering mass graves in Tikrit.
Iraq declared final victory against the jihadist group last December. Since then, the country’s judicial authorities have sentenced hundreds to death and life in prison. Hundreds more of IS suspects remain in Iraqi jails awaiting a trial and the court’s verdict.
International humanitarian organizations, including the UN, say efforts by Iraqi authorities to speed up the implementation of death sentences could lead to the execution of innocent people.
The death penalty in Iraq was suspended on June 10, 2003, but was reinstated the following year.
In August 2017, the Iraqi Central Criminal Court sentenced an initial 27 people to death for their role in the Camp Speicher killings.
Source: Kurdistan 24