UN expert urges France to repatriate ISIS suspects sentenced to death
Thousands of families of suspected ISIS members remain in crowded camps in Syria (AFP/File photo)
Date: 2019-08-13 13:07
A UN investigator rebuked France on Monday (August 12) for its possible role in the transfer of seven suspected ISIS members from Syria to Iraq, but Paris dismissed her concerns as speculation.
UN extrajudicial executions investigator Agnes Callamard said the seven French nationals were arrested by Kurdish militias and sent to Iraq in February “at the alleged request of the French Government or with its suspected involvement.”
After being reportedly tortured in Iraq, they now await execution on terrorism charges, Callamard added in a statement, urging France to press for their return home for a fair trial.
“I am particularly disturbed by allegations that France may have had a role in this transfer, given the risk involved of torture and unfair trials and that they would likely face the death penalty,” said French-born Callamard.
France, which opposes the death penalty, said the UN investigator had not checked with French authorities as required. The allegations “are not sustained, are pure speculation and are hers only,” the Foreign Ministry added
The ministry reiterated the government’s position that citizens who joined ISIS, which operated in both Syria and Iraq, should be tried near where crimes were committed.
“Iraqi authorities know France is against the death penalty, everywhere and in all circumstances, and has asked for the sentences not to be executed,” he added.
In total, 11 French ISIS suspects are on death row in Iraq.
Baghdad is conducting trials of thousands of suspected ISIS members, including hundreds of foreigners, many of whom were arrested as the group’s strongholds crumbled.
Based on Reuters