Iraq sentenced 616 foreigners for Daesh links in 2018

Around 20,000 people suspected of links to Daesh have been arrested since 2014. (AFP)
Updated 31 December 2018
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Iraq sentenced 616 foreigners for Daesh links in 2018

  • Iraq declared “victory” over Daesh at the end of 2017 after a three-year war
  • Around 20,000 people suspected of links to Daesh have been arrested since 2014

BAGHDAD: Iraq sentenced more than 600 foreigners including many women and dozens of minors in 2018 for belonging to the Daesh group, the judiciary said on Monday.
Iraq declared “victory” over Daesh at the end of 2017 after a three-year war against the militant, who once controlled nearly a third of the country as well as swathes of neighboring Syria.
Around 20,000 people suspected of links to Daesh have been arrested since 2014.
Judicial spokesman Abdel Sattar Bayraqdar said Monday that “616 men and women accused of belonging to Daesh have been put on trial” in 2018 and sentenced under Iraq’s anti-terrorism law.
They comprised 466 women, 42 men and 108 minors, he said.
Bayraqdar did not, however specify the punishments.
Under Iraq’s anti-terrorism law courts can issue verdicts, including death sentences, against anyone found guilty of belonging to the militant group, including non-combatants.
In April, judicial sources said that more than 300 suspects linked to Daesh had received death sentences and more than 300 others were sentenced to life, which in Iraq is equivalent to 20 years.
Most of the women sentenced for Daesh links were from Turkey and republics of the former Soviet Union.
Three French citizens — two women and a man — have been sentenced to life imprisonment while a German woman, a Belgian man and a Russian man have been sentenced to death.
Many women had traveled to Iraq with their children to join their husbands who fought in the ranks of Daesh.
Some are still waiting to be repatriated to their home countries.
On Sunday, 30 Russian children whose mothers are in prison in Iraq for links to Daesh were flown from Baghdad to Moscow as part of a repatriation program championed by Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov.


UN presents new plan for Yemen pullback from Hodeidah

Updated 22 min 53 sec ago
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UN presents new plan for Yemen pullback from Hodeidah

  • The redeployment of forces was agreed in December under a ceasefire deal reached in Sweden that offered the best hope in years of moving toward an end to the war
  • The UN envoy's statement did not give a date for the start of the pullback, which would mark the first step towards de-escalation

UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations will present a new plan for the pullback of forces from Yemen's flashpoint city of Hodeidah following talks with the government and the Houthis, a UN envoy said Tuesday.
The redeployment of forces was agreed in December under a ceasefire deal reached in Sweden that offered the best hope in years of moving toward an end to the war that has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine.
"Following constructive discussions with both parties, there is significant progress towards an agreement to implement phase one of the redeployments of the Hodeida agreement," said a statement from Martin Griffiths, the UN envoy for Yemen.
"Operational details will be presented to the parties in the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) for endorsement shortly," he added.
The UN envoy's statement did not give a date for the start of the pullback, which would mark the first step towards de-escalation.
Griffiths said he "looks forward to the swift endorsement of the plan."
The United Nations announced a deal on the two-stage pullback from Hodeidah city and its ports on February 17, but the redeployment failed to materialize on the ground.
UN diplomats said the Houthis were refusing to pull away from the ports as part of the first stage. 
Griffiths and head of the RCC, Danish General Michael Lollesgaard, have been holding talks with all sides to overcome the final hurdles.
The Red Sea port of Hodeidah is the entry point for the bulk of imported goods and relief aid to Yemen.
The conflict in Yemen has unleashed the world's worst humanitarian conflict.