ERBIL — Iraq's Ministry of Justice revealed on Monday that nearly 50,000 people are currently held in the country's prisons over suspected terrorism links, including to the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group.
Iraqi Justice Minister Ahmed L'aebi pointed out in a statement that around half of the prisoners have already been sentenced to death but their death penalties have not been implemented so far due to official procedures.
He further explained that for implementing the death penalties, a presidential decree is required, noting that the majority of the prisoners are members of the Islamic State, including Iraqi and foreign nationals.
They will immediately be executed once a presidential decree is issued, the Iraqi minister added. However, he stressed, the dossiers of some of them have not been completed yet.
An Iraqi lawmaker noted that the presidential decree should be issued, reminding that the sentences have been issued in accordance with the country's laws and regulations.
Justice Minister L'aebi said that a delay in the implementation of the death sentences would keep the prisoners in jail and their number would increase.
Iraq has implemented scores of death penalties of IS prisoners over the past few years, with part of international human rights organizations criticizing the country for such measures.
Alarabia Al-Jadidi revealed in a report on Monday that prisoners in Iraqi jails face various difficulties, blaming the Ministry of Justice for its "poor" role in monitoring the food companies, adding that several cases of deaths have been seen in Iraqi jails.
Some prisoners have lost their lives due to food poisoning or hunger, the report said, citing a former prisoner as revealing that he, along with 30 other prisoners, became sick in jail after eating chicken meat, noting that it was found out later that the food had been out of date.