TIKRIT, Iraq, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Amnesty International said Iraq's use of executions will only "perpetuate the cycle of violence" in the country following the hanging of 36 prisoners.
Amnesty International issued a statement Monday, calling the men's trial "deeply flawed" and said it "relied on 'confessions' extracted under torture."
The men were believed to be Islamic State soldiers, responsible for the shooting deaths of the military recruits after Tikrit was overtaken by the IS -- also identified as Daesh, ISIS and ISIL.
A mass grave was uncovered at Camp Speicher, a former U.S. military base, in April, and was believed to contain the remains of the Iraqi soldiers.
Amnesty International requested the Iraqi government immediately halt executions and seek to abolish the death penalty.
"The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and there is no credible evidence that shows it serves as more of a deterrent to crime than a prison term," said Lynn Maalouf, deputy director for research at Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Regional Office.