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UN chief Ban urges halt to executions in Iraq

UNITED NATIONS - Iraq should impose a moratorium on executions in the country, which has seen a sharp rise in the number of people put to death in recent months, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a report released on Wednesday.
Ban said he was "concerned by the continued and increased implementation of the death penalty." His report said Baghdad executed 80 people between December 2011 and February 2012 compared with 68 in January-November 2011.Most of those put to death were executed under the country's anti-terrorism laws, the report said.
"I therefore ... urge the Iraqi authorities to establish a moratorium on the use of the death penalty," he said.
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