Iraqi MP Mohammed Al-Dainy was sentenced to death in his absence for masterminding the suicide bombing of the Iraqi parliament in 2007, along with other charges which have since turned out to be false.
Iraqi MP and human rights activist Mohammed Al-Dainy had already fled to Jordan by the time he was sentenced to death in January 2010.
He was found guilty of a string of serious offences, including bombing the Iraqi parliament in 2007, launching mortar shells during a visit by the Iranian president, killing 155 villagers who were allegedly buried alive, and murdering a soldier.
Mohammed Al-Dainy had been elected to parliament in 2006 for the National Dialogue Front. An avid human rights campaigner, he investigated conditions in Iraqi detention centres, gathering a wealth of information for international organizations and helping to expose the existence of secret prisons run by the government.
In 2009, he was accused of planning the attack on the parliament after video “confessions” by his nephew and his head of security. He strongly denied the allegations, claiming they were obtained under torture and were linked to his criticism of the treatment of detainees in Iraq.
He had a dramatic exit from the country after his parliamentary immunity from prosecution was lifted. A flight carrying him to Jordan was ordered to turn back, but the armed officers who boarded the plane had no warrant for his arrest. He set off again by road. Fearing for his life, he got out of the car just before a government checkpoint, managed to evade the authorities and reached Jordan.
In the weeks that followed, 19 members of his family and staff were allegedly arbitrarily arrested, detained and in some cases brutally tortured to implicate him in crimes.
Responding to pressure from IPU, the Iraqi Speaker of Parliament set up a committee of five MPs to investigate Mohammed Al-Dainy’s case.
In March 2012, the committee recommended that his case be reviewed urgently in the interests of truth and justice. It concluded that stripping him of his parliamentary immunity had violated constitutional rules, and found major flaws in the cases against him, concluding he was in Jordan at the time of the mortar attack, the soldier he was alleged to have killed was still alive, and no crime had been committed in the village of Al‑Tahweela, where residents had reportedly been buried alive.
IPU is calling for the verdict against Mohammed Al-Dainy to be quashed immediately and fully supports the recommendations of the Iraqi parliamentary committee that he should be retried, and that those who tortured his family and staff be held accountable.
IPU is also pressing the Iraqi authorities to shut down the Al-Sharaf secret prison, following confirmation of its existence and claims it routinely tortures inmates.