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.

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