Sweden Summons Iraq Envoy Over Execution Of Dual National
Sweden on Friday summoned Iraq’s ambassador after condemning the hanging of an Iraqi-Swedish citizen among 38 jihadists belonging to the Islamic State (IS) group or Al-Qaeda in the southern city of Nasiriyah.
“The death penalty is an inhumane, cruel, and irreversible punishment. Sweden and the rest of the EU condemn its application in all its forms,” Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallstrom said in a statement.
“We have repeatedly throughout the years and at all levels protested against our citizens being sentenced to death,” she said.
The Iraqi ambassador to Stockholm was expected to be at the foreign ministry in the afternoon.
The executions Thursday were the largest number in Iraq on a single day since September 25, when 42 people were put to death in the same prison in Nasiriyah.
Dakhel Kazem, a senior official in the provincial council, said the prison executed “38 death row prisoners belonging to Al-Qaeda or Daesh (IS) accused of terrorist activities”.
“We had appealed to Iraq to not enforce the sentence but to turn it into a prison sentence,” Wallstrom said.
A source at the prison said all the jihadists were Iraqis, while the Swedish citizen, who Swedish media reports said was in his 60s, had dual Iraqi citizenship.
Swedish authorities did not confirm his age, nor how he ended up in Iraq or whether he was an IS or Qaeda member.
The Swedish foreign ministry said he “lived in Iraq” and was “sentenced to death by an Iraqi court in 2010 for terrorist crimes”.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Saturday declared victory against IS after a three-year campaign by government forces backed by a US-led coalition to retake territory seized by the jihadists.
Amnesty International has repeatedly expressed concerns about the use of the death penalty in Iraq, saying it carries out some of the highest numbers of executions each year, behind China, Iran and Saudi Arabia.