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UN compares Iraq death penalty use to slaughter

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April 19, 2013 05:51 AM EST | AP


GENEVA — The U.N.'s top human rights officials is condemning Iraq's widespread use of the death penalty, comparing it to a slaughterhouse.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says Iraq's justice system is "too seriously flawed to warrant even a limited application of the death penalty," let alone its execution of 33 people in the past month or its plans to put another 150 people to death.

Pillay said in a statement Friday that "executing people in batches like this is obscene. It is like processing animals in a slaughterhouse."

Her office says Iraq executed 129 people in 2012.

At a press briefing her spokesman, Rupert Colville, derided the executions as a "conveyor belt of executions" and said 1,400 people are believed to be on death row in Iraq.