AL-ALWANI DEATH SENTENCE CONDEMNED

 

Press release

24 November 2014

EIFA: Strong condemnation of death sentence against prominent Sunni politician Dr Ahmed al-Alwani

The death sentence issued by an Iraqi court on Sunday against Dr Ahmed al-Alwani is illegal, politically motivated and extremely damaging to the credibility of the Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. It is clear that it has been instigated directly by the Iranian regime as part of their on-going attempt to marginalise the Sunnis in Iraq and fan the flames of sectarian strife. The death sentence against al-Alwani has infuriated the Sunni tribes and created a potentially explosive situation at a time when there is great resentment and anger at the Iranian Quds Force and their commander Qasem Soleimani, who are omnipresent in Iraq.

Alwani is a leading member of the Albu Alwan tribe, members of which are providing a key front in the battle against the terrorist ISIS organisation in the Ramadi area of Anbar province.

The arrest of Alwani sparked the original uprising in Anbar province. He was detained during a raid on his house in late December 2013 that killed his brother Ali and five guards, inflaming Sunni Arab anger with the Shiite-led government of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a well-known puppet of the Iranian regime. Dr al-Alwani has been one of the most steadfast opponents of Iranian meddling in Iraq's internal affairs, exposing the atrocities committed by the Shiite militias affiliated with al-Maliki and the Iranian terrorist Quds Force. Clearly this is the reason Iran has demanded his execution.

The Iraqi judiciary under Maliki lost its independence and became simply a tool for his corrupt and suppressive regime. Its competence was severely compromised and it was also heavily influenced by Iran. Human Rights Watch reported on 13 January 2013: “The criminal justice system is plagued with arbitrariness and opacity. Security officers and judges alike use confessions as the cornerstone of criminal prosecutions, and frequently charge detainees with terrorism with no actual evidence.”

The European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA) has sided with the UN Security Council in declaring time and again that it considers the redemption of Sunni leaders such as Dr. Tariq al-Hashemi, Mr. Rafe al-Issawi and Dr. Ahmed al-Alwani as essential to future peaceful coexistence in Iraq. Therefore, EIFA calls on Prime Minister al-Abadi courageously and unequivocally to condemn this death sentence and to restore the Iraqi judicial system to one that is independent of political and particularly Iranian interference. The charges against Dr al-Alwani are bogus and he should be released immediately.

EIFA had high expectations for radical change and reform in Iraq under the new government of Haider al-Abadi, but this recent death sentence is a major step backwards and could propel Iraq once again to the edge of the precipice.

 

Struan Stevenson

President of the European Iraqi freedom Association

President of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq (2009-2014)