Iraq hands over 188 Turkish children of suspected Daesh members

Above, printed profiles of Daesh group members – some of whom have fathered children – which were released by Iraqi authorities in this February 6, 2018 photo. (AFP)
Updated 29 May 2019

Iraq hands over 188 Turkish children of suspected Daesh members

  • The figure includes ‘a small percentage’ who had ‘come of age’
  • Children can be held responsible for crimes in Iraq starting the age of nine

BAGHDAD: Iraqi authorities handed over 188 Turkish children of suspected Daesh members to Turkey on Wednesday at Baghdad airport, where they boarded a plane and prepared to fly home, officials from Iraq’s judiciary and UNICEF said.
Representatives of the Iraqi judiciary and the UN agency were present until the children got on the plane. UNICEF Regional Chief of Communications Juliette Touma told Reuters the aircraft had not yet taken off.
An Iraqi judiciary spokesman said the group included several that had “come of age” and been convicted and sentenced for illegally crossing the border. Children can be held responsible for crimes in Iraq from the age of nine.
“The central investigations court, which is responsible for the terrorism file and foreign suspects, has handed the Turkish side 188 children left behind by Daesh terrorists in Iraq,” said the spokesman, Judge Abdul-Sattar Al-Birqdar, in a statement.
Daesh is known to its detractors as Daesh.
An Iraqi foreign ministry official, a representative of the Turkish embassy in Baghdad and representatives of international organizations including UNICEF were present, Birqdar added.
Reuters reported in March that about 1,100 children of Daesh fighters are caught in the Iraqi justice system. The youngest stay with their mothers in prison, and at least seven children have died because of poor conditions.
Several hundred older children are being prosecuted for offenses ranging from illegally entering Iraq to fighting for Daesh.
Some 185 children aged between nine and 18 have already been convicted and received sentences from a few months to up to 15 years in juvenile detention in Baghdad.
Iraq is conducting trials of thousands of suspected Daesh fighters, including hundreds of foreigners, with many arrested as the group’s strongholds crumbled throughout Iraq.
Baghdad is keen for those who cannot be prosecuted to be sent home, but the issue is legally complicated and politically toxic, and many nations have so far refused to take them.
Iraqi President Barham Salih returned on Wednesday from a brief visit to Turkey where he met Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. 

Internet restricted in protest-hit Iran: report

Updated 18 min 13 sec ago

Internet restricted in protest-hit Iran: report

TEHRAN: Authorities have restricted Internet access in Iran, the semi-official ISNA news agency said on Sunday, after nearly two days of nationwide protests triggered by a petrol price hike.

“Access to the Internet has been limited as of last night and for the next 24 hours,” an informed source at the information and telecommunications ministry said, quoted by ISNA.

The decision was made by the Supreme National Security Council of Iran and communicated to Internet service providors overnight, the source added.

It came after state television accused “hostile media” of trying to use fake news and videos on social media to exaggerate the protests as “large and extensive.”

Netblocks, a website that monitors online services, said late Saturday the country was in the grip of an Internet shutdown.

“Confirmed: Iran is now in the midst of a near-total national Internet shutdown; realtime network data show connectivity at 7 percent of ordinary levels after twelve hours of progressive network disconnections,” it said on Twitter.

At least one person was killed and others injured during the demonstrations that started across the country on Friday night, Iranian media said.

The protests erupted hours after it was announced the price of petrol would be increased by 50 percent for the first 60 liters and 300 percent for anything above that each month.