Iraq sentences 212 to death in Mosul area since recapture from Daesh

Updated 18 April 2018
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Iraq sentences 212 to death in Mosul area since recapture from Daesh

BAGHDAD: Iraqi courts have sentenced 212 people to death in Mosul and surrounding areas, most of them for complicity with Daesh, since the area was retaken by Iraqi forces in July and August 2017, a judiciary spokesman said on Wednesday.
Mosul was home to two million people before being overrun in 2014 by Daesh, which proclaimed a “caliphate” stretching into neighboring Syria.
Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi declared full victory over the group last December after Iraqi forces drove its last remnants from the country.
Since then, Human rights groups have accused Iraqi and other regional forces of inconsistencies in the judicial process and flawed trials leading to unfair convictions.
Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council said on Wednesday that criminal courts falling under the Nineveh Federal Court of Appeals, whose jurisdiction includes Mosul, had so far ruled on a total of 815 cases since the area was recaptured from Daesh.
“The statistics coming from the criminal courts show that 815 people have gone on trial and that 212 were sentenced to death. A further 150 were sentenced to life in prison,” said judiciary spokesman Judge Abdul-Sattar Al-Birqdar.
It was not immediately clear how many, if any, of the death sentences had been already carried out.
“The vast majority of these rulings were against elements of the Daesh terrorist organization who were proven to have committed crimes, and came after public trials conducted in accordance with the law. Defendants were afforded their rights,” Birqdar said.
Another 341 people were jailed for various terms and 112 were acquitted, he said.
New York-based Human Rights Watch released an 80-page report in December accusing Iraqi federal and Kurdish regional judiciaries of violating the rights of Daesh suspects with flawed trials, arbitrary detentions under harsh conditions and broad prosecutions.


El-Sisi confident Russian flights will resume ‘soon’ to Egyptian resort cities

Updated 25 min 41 sec ago
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El-Sisi confident Russian flights will resume ‘soon’ to Egyptian resort cities

  • “I am confident that given the positive spirit between the two countries, direct flights to other Egyptian cities will resume,” Sisi said
  • El-Sisi also hailed Egypt’s diplomatic relations with Russia, which have enjoyed a course of 75 years

CAIRO: Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said Tuesday he is confident Russia will resume direct flights to Egyptian resorts as he discussed ways to bolster ties with Russian officials and lawmakers.

Addressing the Russian parliament’s upper house, El-Sisi said: “Our efforts to resume direct flights between Cairo and Moscow ended in success after the visit by President Putin to Egypt in December 2017.

“I am confident that given the positive spirit between the two countries, direct flights to other Egyptian cities will resume,” the Egyptian president said, emphasizing that restoring the flights was essential for Egypt’s tourism industry.

The highest number of tourists to Egypt annually used to come from Russia before Moscow suspended flights after a bomb planted by the Daesh group brought a Russian passenger plane down over Sinai in October 2015, killing all 224 people on board.

Earlier this year, flights between Moscow and Cairo resumed in April after Egyptian officials beefed up airport security.

El-Sisi also hailed Egypt’s diplomatic relations with Russia, which have enjoyed a course of 75 years.

“Russia was the first to help Egypt restore its occupied territories. Egypt also won’t forget Russia’s contribution in its battle for development, as it helped [Egypt] build the high dam and other megaprojects,” he said.

El-Sisi attended meetings in Moscow with top Russian lawmakers and Cabinet ministers, he then met over dinner with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi later in the day.

The two leaders have developed a close personal rapport and sought to expand bilateral ties, which have strengthened considerably over the past few years.

El-Sisi is on his fourth trip to Russia since taking office in 2014, and Putin visited Egypt in 2015 and 2017.

Egypt has signed deals to buy billions of dollars’ worth of Russian weapons, including fighter jets and assault helicopters. When Putin visited Cairo last December, officials signed a deal for Russia to build a nuclear power plant in Dabaa.