Iraq court sentences 16 Turkish women to death for joining IS

Iraq court sentences 16 Turkish women to death for joining IS

Iraq court sentences 16 Turkish women to death for joining IS

An Iraqi criminal court on Sunday sentenced 15 Turkish women to death by hanging after finding them guilty of belonging to the Islamic State or Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a judicial official said.

On Thursday, the Iraqi authorities handed over four women and 27 children from IS families to Russian Federation, after being cleared of charges of involvement in terrorist operations against civilians or security forces, Iraqi Foreign Ministry said.

The court issued the sentences after it found the women belonged to ISIS, married into ISIS, or provided logistical aid to the militant group.

Iraq has detained 560 women and 600 children over alleged links to IS, and has moved quickly to put them on trial.

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In January, the Iraqi court sentenced to death a German female citizen of Moroccan origin for ties with Daesh.

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

Counterterrorism laws in Iraq allow the courts to sentence people even if they have not taken part in any terrorist acts.

In December, the Iraqi authorities declared a full victory over the group, which captured almost one-third of the country's territory in 2014. However, Iraqi authorities are yet to release an official figure on the matter.

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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". The suspects claimed to have been tricked into joining ISIS militants.

The New York-based rights watchdog said in a statement that without proper documentation these individuals cannot move freely in fear of arrest, nor can they apply for jobs or welfare benefits.

Aside from the women held by the Iraqi government, officials in Iraqi Kurdistan say that 1,300 women and children surrendered to Kurdish peshmerga forces in August. Many women came or were brought from overseas in the territories under the control of the jihadist group.

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