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UN report: Iraq has executed 60 people in 2014 in possible 'miscarriages of justice'

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BAGHDAD — Iraqi authorities have executed at least 60 people so far in 2014, a United Nations report said Sunday, expressing concern that "irreversible miscarriages of justice" were taking place in some death penalty cases.

Nickolay Mladenov, the U.N. special envoy to Iraq, urged the Iraqi government to reconsider its position on the implementation of the death penalty. Mladenov said the high number of executions in Iraq is, "alarming, especially since many of these convictions are based on questionable evidence and systemic failures in the administration of justice."

The U.N. report said the figure accounted for executions carried out during the first nine months of 2014. In comparison the United States, which has a population more than 10 times larger than Iraq's, has executed 30 people so far in 2014, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

The death penalty was restored in Iraq in 2005, with hanging as the primary method used. Death sentences are applicable for a range of offences, including acts of terrorism. As of August 2014 some 1,724 Iraqi prisoners were awaiting execution, according to the U.N. report, citing Iraqi justice ministry figures.

Meanwhile, a car bomb exploded on a commercial street in western Baghdad, killing 11 people and wounding 25 others, said police and hospital officials.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

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