Target: Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
Goal: Obtain new trials for two men convicted of murder using false confessions obtained under duress.
Two Saudi Arabian nationals currently await execution in Iraq on robbery charges. Abdullah Azzam Saleh Musfer al-Qahtani and Safa Ahmad Abul’aziz Abdullah were convicted along with four others for robbing a goldsmith shop and killing the owner in 2009. Mr. al-Oahtani testified that his confession was obtained through torture and other mistreatment that included severe beatings, partial asphyxiation and abuse of their genitals. Beyond that, human rights organizations are concerned that the men did not receive a fair trial that followed international standards. So far, four of their compatriots have been executed. The Iraqi government must overturn their death sentences immediately and allow for a new trial that follows international standards.
The Iraqi Court of Cassation has already upheld the convictions in the face of such damning evidence that the confessions were illegitimate. Action must be taken so that the two remaining suspects are not executed as well. The Iraqi government has a chance to halt these executions and perhaps start Iraq on the road to abolishing the death penalty outright. Doing so would discontinue the ultimate violation of human rights, taking a person’s life. Sign this petition and demand that the Iraqi government do the right thing by overturning their sentences.
Dear Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki,
Your government has an obligation to bring those responsible for serious crimes to justice. However, the conviction of Abdullah Azzam Saleh Musfer al-Qahtani and Safa Ahmad Abul’aziz Abdullah and four others was not in line with international standards. I am concerned that their confessions were obtained while they were being tortured. These confessions should immediately be overturned and the men should be granted new trials that are in line with international standards.
I urge you to overturn these death sentences, as they are the ultimate violation of human rights. Perhaps overturning these sentences will send your country on the path towards abolishing the death penalty and improving your human rights record at the same time. Thank you for your time.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: U.S. Military via Wikimedia Commons