German woman, French man sentenced to life in Iraqi prison over IS ties

An Iraqi court on Monday sentenced a French man and a Germany woman to life in prison for being a member of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – An Iraqi court on Monday sentenced a French man and a Germany woman to life in prison for membership to the Islamic State (IS).

The sentence was read by Judge Suhail Abdullah in Iraq’s Central Criminal Court, stating he found French citizen Lahcen Ammar Gueboudj, 55, and German national, Nadia Rainer Hermann, 22, guilty of joining the jihadist group.

Nadia is the daughter of a German woman whose death sentence in January for membership to IS was commuted to a 20-year life term in April, AFP reported.

Following the emergence of IS in Iraq and Syria in 2014, many foreign nationals traveled to the region to join the extremist group, including French and German citizens.

Over the past couple of years, Iraqi forces have arrested tens of thousands of people they claim are members or affiliates of the jihadist group. Most still await sentencing.

Despite the UN’s concerns, Iraqi courts repeatedly issue the death penalty for many IS members who have been arrested and detained under questionable conditions.

In the past year, Iraq has executed dozens of foreign and local IS members. Iraqi courts a few months ago 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 was reinstated the following year.

Editing by Nadia Riva