Iraq Oil Report's Daily Brief compiles the most important news and analysis about Iraq from around the web.

MP’s kidnapped brother found dead

AFP reports:

Iraqi police on Thursday found the bound body of Akram al-Daini, brother of Sunni MP Nahida al-Daini, five days after he was kidnapped near Tikrit in central Iraq, a police officer said.

"Police found the body of Akram al-Daini bound with iron chains and with gunshot wounds on it, in the village of Al-Bujwari," north of Baghdad, the officer said, adding that the body of an unknown woman was found near that of Daini.

A security official said that Akram al-Daini was kidnapped with his bodyguard on the road between Samarra and Tikrit on Saturday night, and that the kidnappers demanded a ransom of $1 million but the family refused to pay.

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Iraqi executions violate int’l standards

Sameer N. Yacoub reports for the Associated Press:

Iraqi authorities executed at least 65 people in the first 40 days of 2012 for various offenses, including 14 on a single day, Human Rights Watch said Thursday.

Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director of the New York-based advocacy group, said that Iraqi authorities appear to have given the "green light to execute at will."

The group said trials often violate international standards. Many defendants are unable to challenge the evidence against them, which may include coerced confession.

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Iraq clamps down on security contractors

Suadad al-Salhy reports for Reuters:

Iraq's government intends to impose tough restrictions on private security companies to rein in what amounts to a "giant army" threatening the country's stability, a senior security official said.

U.S. troops left Iraq in mid-December, but tens of thousands of private security guards remain, helping to protect mainly foreign workers and facilities in a country where daily violence is still a major threat.

Many Iraqis associate the private groups with atrocities carried out after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. In one of the worst cases, five employees of security firm Blackwater were charged over the deaths of 14 Iraqi civilians shot dead in Baghdad in 2007.

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Women demand posts in Kurdish Cabinet

Rebin Zangana reports for AKnews:

Women activists say women participation in the government positions should be equal to their participation in the parliament of Kurdistan Region – 25 percent – as the region prepares for a cabinet reshuffle as part of a political deal between the two main ruling parties.

Vian Sleman, secretary of Kurdistan Women’s Union (KWU) told AKnews that “Women activists deem it the women’s rights that in the next cabinet a number of the senior positions be give to women. And a formal request has been sent to Nechirvan Barzani for the purpose as well”

The women activists have called on Barzani to guarantee a 25% quota for women in his cabinet that is expected to be formed soon.

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Police air confessions against Diyala official

Mahmoud al-Jabbouri reports for AKnews:

Three armed groups involved in organized crime and financed by a local official have been disbanded, Diyala police announced today.

The 36 captured men, who police say were financed by the Diyala Governor's Deputy for Arts Affairs, Ghadhban al-Khazraji, were responsible for several armed attacks and assassinations.

The video-taped confessions were shown during a police conference today, in which the militants admitted to belonging to armed groups such as Ansar al-Sunnah and the Rijal al-Naqshbandiyah and receiving payments from the official for assassinations since 2006.

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Domestic violence plagues Iraq

Jane Arraf reports for Al Jazeera:

The UN estimates that one in five women in Iraq suffer from domestic abuse, in a society where a woman leaving her husband for any reason is considered grounds for punishment.

One rights group says cases of abuse appear to be on the rise since the fall of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein nearly nine years ago.

But even for women who do manage to escape their abuse, there are few places in the country they can go to seek refuge.

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Kirkuk begins 5-star hotel construction

Abdullah al-Amiri reports for AKnews:

The foundation stone of a five star hotel and shopping center was laid in Kirkuk today, the first project of its kind in the city.

The mall and hotel, at a cost of $31.58m (36.8tr IQD), will be built over three years by the Rekani Firm based, based in Kurdistan, and various Turkish companies.

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Basra governor: oil is a curse

Ammar al-Saleh reports for AKnews:

"The oil wealth has become a curse on the citizens of the province", claimed the governor of Basra yesterday.

Governor Abdul-Samad said this week that poor housing and pollution has lowered the quality of life in the center of Iraq's oil industry.

"They are deprived from adequate housing because most of the lands in Basra belong to the Oil Ministry and the industry creates environmental pollution," he explained.

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FIFA voids Iraq victory after violation

The Associated Press reports:

FIFA has ruled that Iraq fielded an ineligible player in an Olympic soccer qualifying win last November, and awarded a 3-0 victory to United Arab Emirates.

Iraq won the Nov. 27 match 2-0, but was found guilty of fielding defender Jasim Faisal, who should have been suspended for that game after receiving two yellow cards in two previous matches.

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Iraq executes 14 in one day

AFP reports:

Iraq executed 14 people on a single day this week, most of them al-Qaeda members, a senior justice ministry official said on Wednesday, bringing to at least 65 the number of executions so far this year.

"Fourteen Iraqis were executed yesterday (Tuesday)," the official said, asking not to be named. "They were convicted of terrorism and other crimes committed in 2006 and 2007."

"Most of them are from al-Qaeda, among them the wali (leader) of Mosul," the official said.

That brings the number of people executed in the first six weeks of this year close to the total of 68 for all of 2011.

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