A court in Iraq has sentenced 16 Turkish women to death by hanging after they were found guilty of belonging to the Islamic State terror group.
The defendants confessed to marrying Isis fighters or providing the group “with logistical aid or helping them carry out terrorist attacks”, said Judge Abdul-Sattar al-Birqdar. The verdicts are subject to appeal.
The women, said to be aged between 20 and 50, appeared dressed in black at the Central Criminal Court in Baghdad yesterday, the BBC reports. “Four had young children with them,” it adds.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Hundreds of women and children have been detained in Iraq over alleged links to Isis since the Islamist group lost control of its final strongholds in the country last year.
“Many foreign women came - or were brought - from overseas to join the militants,” Reuters reports.
Human Rights Watch has criticised Iraqi courts for handing down death sentences for non-violent crimes, and claims that many women were tricked or coerced into joining the terrorist group.
“In these cases, the women are getting the harshest possible sentences for what appears to be marriage to an Islamic State member or a coerced border crossing,” senior Iraq researcher Belkis Wille said in a statement on the campaign group’s website. “The Iraqi courts need to redirect their priorities.”
Senior Iraqi judges insist tough sentences are playing a vital role in restoring law and order.
Create an account with the same email registered to your subscription to unlock access.