42 executed in Iraq over terror charges

Xinnua quoted Minister for Justice Hassan al-Shimmary as saying in a statement that the convicts were found guilty of terrorism.

The convicts' activities led to the deaths of dozens of innocent civilians, Shimmary said.

The increasing number of executions in Iraq has sparked off calls to stop use of capital punishment by the UN mission in Iraq, the European Union and some international human rights groups which have criticised the lack of transparency in the proceedings of the Iraqi courts.

Death penalty was suspended for over a year in Iraq after the US-led invasion.

Paul Bremer, then US administrator for Iraq, had suspended the penalty June 10, 2003.

However, the Iraqi government brought back the death penalty Aug 8, 2004, saying it would curb the widespread violence in the country.

Since then, scores of people have been executed, including toppled Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

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