Iraqi court sentences 2 French Daesh members to death

The sentenced are among a group of 12 French citizens detained by SDF forces in Syria. (File/AFP)
Updated 02 June 2019
0

Iraqi court sentences 2 French Daesh members to death

  • The new sentences raise the number of French citizens sentenced to death in Iraq to nine
  • France said they would do everything to save the sentenced from death penalty

BAGHDAD: A court in Baghdad on Sunday sentenced two French citizens to death for being members of Daesh, including one who last week said he was subjected to torture while in detention, an Iraqi judicial official said.
The sentencings in Iraq come amid controversy about the legal treatment of thousands of foreign fighters who had joined Daesh at the height of its power in Syria and Iraq, when the militant group declared its self-styled caliphate.
Human rights groups are concerned these defendants are being rushed through Iraqi counterterrorism courts in trials that raise questions over whether justice is being done. Convictions are often based on confessions that defendants and rights groups say are extracted by intimidation, torture and abuse and without due process.
The judicial official said the court sentenced to death Fadil Hamad Abdallah, 33, of Moroccan origin and Vianney Jamal Abdelqader, 29. Abdallah, who was known within the group as Abu Mariam, told the court last week that he was subjected to torture. He was then referred to a medical committee that, after examining him, said he had made false claims about torture.
The judicial official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
The new sentences raise the number of French citizens given death sentences over the past two weeks to nine.
France has said it would do all it can to spare the group from execution in Iraq. Although it has made no effort to bring back the captured fighters, France has taken an outspoken stance against the death penalty worldwide.
Although European Daesh members have been sentenced to death, none have actually been executed in Iraq.
Those sentenced are among a group of 12 French citizens who were detained by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in neighboring Syria and handed over to Iraq in January.
The Kurdish-led group spearheaded the fight against Daesh in Syria and has handed hundreds of suspected Daesh members over to Iraq in recent months.
An Iraqi intelligence official told The Associated Press that the SDF handed over to Syria 1,142 Iraqi Daesh members, of which 157 were sentenced to death. He added that five other foreigners were transferred to Iraq, including two Iranians, two Tunisians and a Chinese national. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Also in Baghdad, Iraqi authorities handed over 122 Turkish children of suspected Daesh militants to Turkey’s government representatives, according to a statement by the justice ministry. Sunday’s handover came days after 188 other children were handed over to Turkish authorities.
In an interview with Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency last month, Turkey’s ambassador in Baghdad said he aimed to repatriate all children of Turkish Daesh families from Iraq ahead of Eid Al-Fitr that marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and is expected to begin on Tuesday. Ambassador Fatih Yildiz also said Turkey asked Iraq to return all Turkish citizens but the process was complicated by an agreement that barred suspects with terror links from repatriation.


Kushner: Trump wants fair deal for Palestinians

Updated 25 June 2019
0

Kushner: Trump wants fair deal for Palestinians

  • Fighting new economic plan ‘a strategic mistake,’ White House adviser says
  • Says plan would double Palestinian GDP in 10 years, create over a million jobs

MANAMA, Bahrain: Donald Trump wants a fair deal for Palestinians, the US president’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner said on the eve of the launch in Bahrain of the White House’s $50 billion “peace for prosperity” plan.

The Palestinians are missing an opportunity to participate in the Middle East peace process by boycotting the Bahrain conference, Kushner said. “This is a strong package that has been put together. Fighting it instead of embracing it, I think, is a strategic mistake.”

The plan proposes a global investment fund for Palestine and neighboring Arab states, and a $5 billion transport corridor between the West Bank and Gaza. Palestinian leaders have rejected it, but Kushner said their criticism was “more emotional than specific.”

“Nobody has refuted our core premise that this would do a lot to stimulate the economy,” he said. “The Palestinian people have been trapped in a situation for a long time and we wanted to show them, and their leadership, that there is a pathway forward that could be quite exciting.”

The Palestinian people have been trapped in a situation for a long time and we wanted to show them, and their leadership, that there is a pathway forward that could be quite exciting.

Jared Kushner, US president’s adviser

Kushner said Trump decisions such as recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the US Embassy there from Tel Aviv were evidence that the president kept his promises.

“The Palestinians might not have liked his Jerusalem decision, but he made a promise and he did it,” he said. What the president wanted now was “to give the Palestinian people a fair solution.”

Kushner said the plan would double the GDP in 10 years, create over a million jobs, reduce poverty by 50 percent and bring unemployment to below 10 percent.

“We believe this doable,” he said. “It’s hard, but if there’s a peace agreement and we set up the right structure, we think it could really lead to improving people’s lives in a substantial way.

“I think there is a lot of enthusiasm in the West Bank and Gaza to see if we can find a political solution so that this can be implemented.”

The political element of the White House plan has been delayed by uncertainty in Israel, where there will be elections this year after an earlier vote failed to produce a stable coalition, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may also face a criminal trial for corruption.