IRAQ: In the name of justice, give the death penalty

IRAQ (West Asia)                                 

Population: 31.13 million

60% of Iraq’s population is under the age of 25.

Fertility Rate:  7.4 children/woman (1970s) vs. 4.7 children/woman (2010)

Life Expectancy:  58 years (1970s) vs. 68 years (2010)

Infant mortality:  40.25 deaths / 1000 live births

Male/Female Ratio:  1.03 male  / female

Major Religion:  Islam

– Iraq has one of the world’s highest death penalty rates.  The use of the death penalty has increased rapidly in Iraq since it was reinstated in mid-2004.  This year, there have been 96 executions already, with another 196 people on death row.  In January, 34 people were executed in a single day.  Last August 27, another batch of 21 prisoners was summarily executed. 

– Iraqi law authorizes the death penalty for close to 50 crimes, including terrorism, kidnapping, and murder, but also for offenses such as damage to public property.  Method of execution is firing squad or hanging.

– Abortions are allowed in Iraq to preserve the life and health of the pregnant woman and for reasons of fetal defect.  Iraqi law also allows abortion for reasons of incest and rape.

– In 1994, Iraqi government issued a decree allowing the provision of family planning services to all Iraqi women. 

– Half of all marriages in Iraq are between first or second cousins.

 – The number of temporary “pleasure” marriages is on the rise in Iraq since 2003.  The idea is that rather than having an affair, a man who wants to be sexually involved with a woman should marry her — for a few months, or even, hours — so the relationship will be legitimate.  These temporary generally stipulate that the man will pay the woman in exchange for sexual intimacy. 

– Some men are using the temporary marriage system to take advantage of poor women.  Married woman cannot enter into a pleasure marriage, although a married man can.  Only men can void the contract any time.  The couple in a temporary marriage also agrees not to have children.  A women who unintentionally gets pregnant can have an abortion but must pay a fine to a cleric. 

– This 2012, there is an average of 7.5 civilian deaths per day caused by suicide attacks and car bombs.

– The violent history of the country since the 1980s have contributed to an estimated 2 million Iraqis who are now considered persons with disabilities.




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