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France ‘outsourcing’ ISIS trials to Iraq

Men walk out of Baghdad's Karkh main appeals court building in the western sector of the Iraqi capital on May 29, 2019 where French jihadists accused of belonging to the Islamic state are being tried. (AFP)
Human Rights Watch on Friday condemned France’s “outsourcing” of trials of ISIS group suspects to “abusive justice systems,” after seven of its nationals have this week been sentenced to death in Iraq.

Two of them have “alleged that they were tortured or coerced to confess,” the New York-based watchdog said in a statement.

“France and other countries should not be outsourcing management of their terrorism suspects to abusive justice systems,” said HRW’s acting Middle East director, Lama Fakih.

“These countries should not be sitting idly by while their citizens are transferred to a country where their right to a fair trial and protection from torture are undermined.”

A Baghdad court sentenced a Frenchman to death on Wednesday for joining ISIS, bringing to seven the number of French militants on death row in Iraq. Yassine Sakkam’s sentence came despite France reiterating its opposition to capital punishment this week.

In January, a group of 11 French citizens and one Tunisian was handed over to Iraqi authorities by a US-backed force which expelled the militant group from its last bastion in Syria.

Around 1,000 suspected foreign ISIS militants are held in detention by this Kurdish force and Iraq has offered to put them on trial in exchange for millions of dollars, potentially solving a legal conundrum for Western governments.

Last Modified: Saturday، 01 June 2019 12:09 PM