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A compilation of brief news reports for Friday, April 20, 2007.

Iraq has fourth highest execution rate, says Amnesty

The human rights organisation Amnesty International says that Iraq now ranks fourth in the list of countries with high execution rates.

Since mid 2004, Iraq has sentenced 270 people to death, at least 100 of whom have already been hanged. Amnesty says that Iraq's reintroduction of the death sentence goes against a general global trend for its abolition.

In a press release, Amnesty says many of the trials are unfair, criticising the use of televised pre-trial confessions and a failure to investigate allegations of torture.

Kate Allen, Amnesty's UK director said: "The clock has been turned back in Iraq and we've seen a return to large numbers of people being condemned to death and hastily executed after unfair trials,"

The criticisms have been dismissed by Iraqi officials.

Sources


Canadian Conservatives regret participation in Sikh parade

The Conservatives have expressed regret for participating in a Sikh Parade in Surrey, British Columbia because a display of Indian saints included Talwinder Tarmar, the terrorist that led the 1985 Air India bomb plot. The president of the temple that organized the parade claims that he is not guilty.

Sources


Seven year-old finds cocaine in pocket

A bag of cocaine worth around $8,900 was found by a first grade boy while checking his jacket pocket. The bag contained 89 grams of crack cocaine. "The boy got scared and told his teacher", said a Tampa police spokeswoman.

Sources