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Iraq spends $3m per month holding ISIS inmates claims former official

ISIS fighter imprisoned in northern Iraq, Feb. 15, 2017. (Photo: Zohra Bensemra/Reuters)
2019-09-22

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SULAIMANI — Former head of the Council of Representatives’ Security and Defense Committee Hakim al-Zamli on Saturday (September 21) called for the execution of Islamic State (ISIS) inmates in Iraqi prisons because the government spends more than $3 million on medicine and food for ISIS inmates every month.

Al-Zamli said that there are “inmates in the Nasiriyah Central Prison that were charged with terrorism number 10,973 and 6,373 of them are sentenced to be executed.”

In 2018, at least 52 people were executed by Iraqi authorities, according to Amnesty International. A member of Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights told KDP-affiliated media last month that more than 100 people have been executed so far this year.

“They were the ones responsible for destroying Iraq and killing and harming thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens” al-Zamli added.

“The money spent on them is 100,000 dollars every day, three million dollars every month,” he said without providing a firm accounting for his figures

“We need to build houses … for the poor. Build some schools. Send our patients outside for treatment.”

Thousands of suspected ISIS militants and their families are confined in Iraqi prisons. Iraq has asked the international community to reimburse some of the cost of holding them.

Rights watchdogs Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have condemned Iraq’s heavy use of the death penalty.

The Kurdistan Region has had a de facto moratorium on the practice since 2008, but has transferred prisoners suspected of terrorism to Iraqi authorities.

(NRT Digital Media)