Iraq condemns 6 Turkish women to death for Daesh membership
A Baghdad court on Monday sentenced six Turkish women to death and a seventh to life in prison for membership of Daesh, a judicial source said.
The source told AFP that the women, all accompanied by small children in the court, had surrendered to Kurdish peshmerga fighters after having fled Tal Afar, one of the last Daesh bastions to fall to Iraqi security forces last year. 20,000 people are being held in jail in Iraq for alleged membership of Daesh. There is no official figure.
Iraq has detained at least 560 women, as well as 600 children, identified as militants or relatives of suspected Daesh fighters.
Separately, authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan said in early February they had detained some 4,000 suspected Daesh members, including foreigners.
Iraq’s anti-terrorism law empowers courts to convict people who are believed to have helped Daesh even if they are not accused of carrying out attacks.
It also allows for the death penalty to be issued against anyone — including non-combatants — found guilty of belonging to Daesh.
The New York-based HRW has urged Iraqi authorities to “develop a national strategy to prioritize the prosecution of those who committed the most serious crimes.”
Women suspected only of Daesh membership rather than any combat role are “getting the harshest possible sentences for what appears to be married to an ISIS (Daesh) member or a coerced border crossing,” it said.
Many foreign widows of Daesh fighters have said they had been fooled or threatened by their husbands to travel to Iraq.