Iraqi protesters hold national flags and shout slogans during a demonstration to press for reforms outside Baghdad's Green Zone on April 26, 2016. Haidar Mohammed Ali, AFP

Iraq: Fears of Convicted Hashimi Being Included in Recent Amnesty Law

08/27/2016
Baghdad, Erbil- As soon as Iraq’s parliament passed the controversial amnesty law, Shi’ite lawmakers hurried into getting up a petition to remove one of the bill’s articles.
Iraq’s parliament on Thursday adopted a law that offers amnesty to thousands of anti-government protestors who are currently in jails across the country, many on charges of terrorism.
MPs fear that the pardon might include Tariq al-Hashimi, who served as the country’s Vice President, and has been trialed in absentia for suits on supporting terrorism. Hashimi was given a death sentence.
A parliamentary representative of the Shi’ite bloc, The National Iraqi Alliance (NIA), Ahmed Taha Sheikh Ali, told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the bill’s drafting is highly vague and with political loopholes that raise concerns of convicts, such as Hashimi, escaping their sentences.
More so, Sheikh Ali says that the bill put forward is phrased loosely, which opens up the doors to misinterpretations and manipulation.
He also revealed that NIA lawmakers have been collecting signatures to impugn the article which could possibly include Hashimi in the reprieve.
As the power struggle in Mosul continues, pitting ISIS militants against the national army and supporting paramilitary groups, the people of Qayyarah -an Iraqi town located in south of south Mosul- despite ISIS being driven out, still are trapped by the minefields set up by ISIS terrorists before fleeing the town.
An Army official, Major Amin Shikhani, told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the hardline militants had rigged many of the town’s neighborhoods and institutions with explosives.
He added that as soon as Qayyarah was liberated from the terrorists’ upper hand, army forces combed the town, neutralized threats and defused most explosives.
Shikhani also said that army forces have been opening up roads for civilians.
Shikhani says that in the process of freeing the town, at least 170 ISIS militants, 80 of which were foreigners, have been killed.
The army official added that among the nationalities of the foreigners killed while fighting among the ranks of ISIS, are Asians, Chechens and Russians.

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