Iraq calls for repatriation of children of foreign militants

A members of the Iraqi Federal Police patrols the streets of Baghdad’s Shula district, as part of inforced security measures taken by the government following the excecution of 13 death row jihadists on June 29, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 03 July 2018
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Iraq calls for repatriation of children of foreign militants

  • At least 833 children of 14 nationalities are currently in prison in Iraq
  • Under Iraqi law, children can face up to 15 years in prison for violent acts

BAGHDAD: Iraq called Tuesday for the home countries of foreign Islamist militants held in its jails to repatriate hundreds of children of the captured militants.
At least 833 children of 14 nationalities are currently in prison in Iraq, according to the Joint Operations Command, which coordinates the fight against the Daesh group.
“We ask all diplomatic missions in Iraq, resident and non-resident, to take back their nationals who have served their sentences and children who are not convicted,” said foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Mahjoub.
“Iraq has informed all of the countries that have citizens in its prisons. We have already spoken with the embassies of Germany, Azerbaijan, Russia and other countries to take (their citizens) back.”
Iraqi law renders children punishable at the age of nine, according to Human Rights Watch.
They face five years in prison for belonging to Daesh, which swept across Iraq in 2014 and controlled large swathes of the country until last year.
Under Iraqi law, children can face up to 15 years in prison for violent acts.
A Russian diplomatic source in Moscow told AFP that there “are 70 Russian women on trial and there are about 100 children in Iraqi prisons.”
“We are trying to bring these children back to Russia after identifying them because almost all of them do not have identity papers,” the source said.


Arab anger over ‘theft of occupied Golan Heights’

Updated 26 March 2019
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Arab anger over ‘theft of occupied Golan Heights’

  • Israel seized part of the Golan during the 1967 Six-Day War, subsequently annexing it in 1981
  • US President Trump officially recognized Israel's sovereignty of the Golan Heights on March 25, 2019

JEDDAH: Arab states on Monday condemned US President Donald Trump’s recognition of the occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

The decision “does not change the area’s status” as illegally occupied territory, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said.

Breaking decades of international consensus, Trump signed a proclamation at the White House on Monday recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the border area that Israel seized from Syria in 1967. 

Syria said the decision was a blatant attack on its sovereignty. 

“Trump does not have the right or the legal authority to legitimize the occupation,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Opposition chief Nasr Al-Hariri said Trump’s decision would “lead to more violence and instability, and it will have negative effects on efforts to engineer peace in the region.”

Lebanon said the move “violates all the rules of international law” and “undermines any effort to reach a just peace.”

“The Golan Heights are Syrian Arab land, no decision can change this, and no country can revisit history by transferring ownership of land from one country to another,” the Foreign Ministry said.