ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Central Criminal Court of Iraq on Tuesday sentenced to death by hanging five persons for membership to the Islamic State (IS).
The court “reviewed the cases of five individuals convicted of membership [to IS] who worked in several divisions of the organization,” the Iraqi Higher Judicial Council’s (IHJC) spokesperson, Judge Abdul-Sattar al-Birqdar, said in a statement.
Over the past two years, Iraqi forces have arrested tens of thousands of people which include foreign nationals they claim are members or affiliates of the militant group. Most still await sentencing.
Despite concerns from the United Nations (UN), Iraqi courts repeatedly issue the death penalty for many IS members who have been arrested and detained under questionable conditions.
“The convicts partook in fighting against security and military forces in the provinces of Nineveh and Anbar and had carried out terrorist attacks,” Birqdar added.
The IHJC regularly issues statements after they hand sentences to individuals who have been convicted and are awaiting the court’s final verdict.
“The court issued its decision to hang to death the accused under the provisions of Article 4/1 of [Iraq’s] anti-terrorism law,” the spokesperson concluded.
In the past year, Iraq has executed dozens of foreign and local IS members. A few months ago, Iraqi courts sentenced 212 people to death in Mosul and surrounding areas, most of them for membership to the extremist group.
International humanitarian organizations, including the UN, say efforts by Iraqi authorities to speed up the implementation of death sentences could lead to the execution of innocent people.
The death penalty in Iraq was suspended on June 10, 2003, but reinstated the following year.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany