UN expert: France should bring back jihadists facing hanging in Iraq

PARIS (dpa) - French authorities should try to bring back seven of their nationals sentenced to death in Iraq for joining the Islamic State extremist group, a UN expert said on Monday.
Eleven French citizens were sentenced to hang in Iraq earlier this year, reportedly after being handed over to Iraqi authorities by US- and French-backed Kurdish forces who captured them in Syria.

France has never admitted to any role in the transfers and insisted, after the first seven verdicts, that the trials were fair, despite repeated criticism of Iraqi terrorism trials by rights groups and the UN.
UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions Agnes Callamard warned Paris on Monday that given the flaws in the Iraqi justice system, "the transfer of persons to Iraq for prosecution is illegal."
"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," Callamard said in a statement released on Monday.
The fate of French jihadists and their families is a controversial topic in France, as in many other European countries.
Islamist attacks, mostly claimed by Islamic State, cost more than 230 lives in France in 2015 and 2016.
France insists its citizens must be tried locally for any offences committed in Syria or Iraq, but it has repatriated a number of orphaned children of French Islamic State members.
The death sentences meant that that stance could "leave an indelible stain" on President Emmanuel Macron's term of office, several prominent French lawyers warned earlier this year.

Monday, August 12th 2019

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