Published: Thu, March 01, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Turkish women sentenced to death in Iraq

Turkish women sentenced to death in Iraq

A court in Iraq has sentenced 16 women from Turkey to death for joining militant group ISIS.

Four of the women, all of whom were dressed in black, were accompanied by young children in the courtroom, he said.

Thousands of foreigners have fought on behalf of the IS in Iraq and Syria since 2014.

A German woman was sentenced to death last month for belonging to the group and a Russian fighter was also sentenced to death in Iraq past year for joining the hardline group. One of them told the judge she had taken part in fighting against Iraqi forces alongside the jihadists, he said.

Last week, the court issued a verdict of death penalty for a female Turkish citizen and issued 10 verdicts of life sentences for other women from different countries, according to an earlier statement by Biraqdar.

Human Rights Watch has argued that the sentences are "unfair", with some activists arguing that numerous women were tricked or coerced into joining the terrorist groups. Iraq's government declared victory over ISIS December 2017 after Iraqi forces expelled militants from their last remaining pockets in western Iraq.

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Human-rights groups say harsh sentences have been handed down after unfair trials. However, Iraqi authorities are yet to release an official figure on the matter.

"Iraqi security officers are routinely denying relatives of suspected ISIS members the security clearance needed to obtain identity cards and other documents, " HRW said.

Saad al-Hadithi, spokesman of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's media office, confirmed that all "foreign nationals who committed crimes and violations against the people of Iraq, whether directly or by supporting the terrorist IS militants, will be subject to the Iraqi law".

It also allows for the death penalty to be issued against anyone - including non-combatants - found guilty of belonging to ISIS.

"Many foreign women came - or were brought - from overseas to join the militants", Reuters reports.

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