Turkish women sentenced to death in Iraq

Over 15 Turkish women were convicted in the charge of joining the Islamic State group (IS), as an Iraqi court sentenced them with a hang till death penalty.

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.

Last week, a Turkish woman was sentenced to death for membership in the terrorist organization.

Thousands of foreigners fought in Syria and Iraq on the side of an "Islamic state" at least from 2014, reminds Reuters.

Iraq has handed over to Russian Federation four women and 27 children suspected of having ties to the group, the foreign ministry said on Thursday, adding that they were "tricked" into joining the militants.

Since August, Iraq has detained and tried hundreds of women and children to uncover involvement with ISIS.

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Human Rights Watch has criticised the courts for handing down death sentences for non-violent crimes, and claims that numerous women were tricked or coerced into joining the terrorist group. One woman told the judge that she had actively taken part in the fighting.

Baghdad declared military victory over ISIS in December, after having expelled the jihadists from all urban centers they had held in northern and western Iraq since 2014.

Iraq's central criminal court issued the sentences "after it was proven they belong to the Daesh terrorist group and after they confessed to marrying Daesh elements or providing members of the group with logistical aid or helping them carry out terrorist attacks", Judge Abdul-Sattar al-Birqdar said, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS. There is no official figure.

It also allows for the death penalty to be issued against anyone - including non-combatants - found guilty of belonging to ISIS.

Human Rights Watch has raised concerns about the judicial process and branded the trials unfair. The suspects claimed to have been tricked into joining ISIS militants. It suggests that the Iraqi authorities "should develop a national strategy to prioritize the prosecution of those who committed the most serious crimes".

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