Middle East

Iraq sentences 4th French ISIS member to death

An Iraqi court on Monday, May 27 condemned a fourth French citizen to death for joining Islamic State, a day after handing capital punishments to three other Frenchmen.

Mustapha Merzoughi, 37, was sentenced to death by hanging, according to an AFP journalist at the court.

The court on Sunday condemned three other French nationals to death by hanging for joining ISIS.

Captured in Syria by the Syrian Democratic Forces, the four were among at least 12 French nationals who were transferred from Syria in February.

The French foreign ministry said earlier over the weekend that it would take “the necessary steps” to try to prevent Iraq from carrying out the death penalty.

“France is opposed in principle to the death penalty at all times and in all places,” the foreign ministry said in a statement after the three IS members were sentenced on Sunday.

It said the detained men were receiving consular assistance to ensure they had legal representation ahead of an expected appeal of the ruling, which they can lodge within 30 days.

It added, however, that France “respects the sovereignty of Iraq’s institutions.”

France has long insisted that its adult citizens captured in Iraq or Syria must face trial locally, refusing to repatriate them despite the risk they face executing for waging war in the region.

With reporting from AFP

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