Iraq sentenced 616 foreigners for Daesh links in 2018


BAGHDAD: Iraq sentenced more than 600 foreigners including many women and dozens of minors in 2018 for belonging to the Daesh group, the judiciary said on Monday.

Iraq declared “victory” over Daesh at the end of 2017 after a three-year war against the militant, who once controlled nearly a third of the country as well as swathes of neighboring Syria.

Around 20,000 people suspected of links to Daesh have been arrested since 2014.

Judicial spokesman Abdel Sattar Bayraqdar said Monday that “616 men and women accused of belonging to Daesh have been put on trial” in 2018 and sentenced under Iraq’s anti-terrorism law.

They comprised 466 women, 42 men and 108 minors, he said.

Bayraqdar did not, however specify the punishments.

Under Iraq’s anti-terrorism law courts can issue verdicts, including death sentences, against anyone found guilty of belonging to the militant group, including non-combatants.

In April, judicial sources said that more than 300 suspects linked to Daesh had received death sentences and more than 300 others were sentenced to life, which in Iraq is equivalent to 20 years.

Most of the women sentenced for Daesh links were from Turkey and republics of the former Soviet Union.

Three French citizens — two women and a man — have been sentenced to life imprisonment while a German woman, a Belgian man and a Russian man have been sentenced to death.

Many women had traveled to Iraq with their children to join their husbands who fought in the ranks of Daesh.

Some are still waiting to be repatriated to their home countries.

On Sunday, 30 Russian children whose mothers are in prison in Iraq for links to Daesh were flown from Baghdad to Moscow as part of a repatriation program championed by Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov.

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