Amnesty for 5,000 prisoners?
The government sent Iraq’s parliament speaker a draft bill yesterday for an amnesty for some detainees being held in Iraqi prisons. The bill excludes those held in US custody and those imprisoned for a variety of crimes ranging from terrorism, kidnapping and rape to antiquities smuggling, adultery and homosexuality. It also excludes senior figures of the former Baath regime. If passed in its current form, the bill could see more than 5,000 prisoners released. Parliamentarians have criticised the draft for its limited scope. They have argued that most prisoners are charged with terrorist crimes, rendering the bill ineffective.