BAGHDAD, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has rejected calls by some parties to release criminals who have been behind violent acts in Iraq, according to a statement released by his office on the website on Friday.
The people who demanded the release of those who have caused miseries for Iraqi children and women by killing their guardians are lack of moral values, Maliki was quoted as telling a group of orphans who have been victims of violence at his office on Thursday.
"Those people, who had been involved in killing Iraqis must be punished," Maliki said, calling on all political parties and civil societies to "support the government's efforts to impose just punishment against criminals and outlaws."
"We hear voices calling for release of criminals under claim that they have been defending rights of minorities and (religious)sects, forgetting that those criminals had been behind catastrophes," he said.
"Defending human rights must be through ideologies and believes, and not through killing others, simply because of religion, sect or nationality," he added.
Maliki expressed keenness of his government to "check the dossiers of prisoners and accelerate the release of those who were not involved in crimes and have not been behind causing bloodshed among Iraqi people."
The prime minister lashed out at the Baath Party which "bears full responsibility for the crimes and catastrophes Iraq is suffering from nowadays."
He also accused the former ruling Party of being responsible for the loss of Iraq's sovereignty, in a hint to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
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