Published: Thu, March 01, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Iraq court hands Turkish women death sentence

Iraq court hands Turkish women death sentence

Another Turkish woman was sentenced to death last week and 10 others of various nationalities to life in prison, all for alleged Islamic State membership.

Iraq is conducting the trials of hundreds of foreign women who have been detained, with hundreds of their children, since August by Iraqi forces as Islamic State strongholds crumbled.

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.

Judge Abdul-Sattar al-Birqdar said all the convicts could appeal against the verdict.

Roughly 1,700 women and children have surrendered or been captured since summer 2017, when Iraqi forces began retaking ISIS-controlled territory along the Syrian border.

Several Western governments, including the United Kingdom, have expressed a wish for nationals who travelled to the Middle East to fight on behalf of the group be tried in Iraq.

"But keeping women and children who did nothing wrong beyond having a relative join ISIS out of work, out of school, and in fear of arrest every day will do nothing to foster reconciliation in Iraq".

Last month, Iraq's Central Criminal Court issued a death penalty by hanging for a German citizen of Moroccan origin in accordance with Anti-Terrorism Law.

Human Rights Watch has raised concerns about the judicial process and branded the trials unfair.

"Iraq's security forces are marginalizing thousands of families of ISIS suspects by depriving them of the basic documents they need to rebuild their lives", said HRW's deputy Middle East director Lama Fakih.

Defense lawyers also argued militant husbands either tricked or forced their wives into traveling to Iraq and Syria.

Iraqi government spokesman Saad al-Hadithi has stated, "All foreign nationals who have committed crimes and acts of terror against Iraqi people, either directly or through support for ISIS terrorists, will be subject to the Iraqi law".

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