212 Mosul residents handed death sentences since IS ousted

212 Mosul residents handed death sentences since IS ousted
More than 3,000 people have been sentenced to death in Iraq in recent years, with rights groups criticising the flawed trials and arbitrary detentions.
2 min read
19 April, 2018
US-backed Iraqi forces liberated Mosul from IS last year [Getty]
Iraqi courts have sentenced 212 people to death for complicity with the Islamic State group since the Mosul area was recaptured by the country's armed forces in July and August 2017, Reuters reported.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over IS in December, after the group was pushed out of its last areas in the country. At its peak, IS held about one-third of Iraq's territory. Notorious IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a self-styled caliphate from Mosul's al-Nuri Mosque.

Human rights groups have repeatedly accused Iraqi forces of unfair convictions. 

The Nineveh Federal Court, whose jurisdiction falls over Mosul, has to date ruled on 815 cases since the region was recaptured last year. "212 were sentenced to death. A further 150 were sentenced to life in prison," said judiciary spokesman Judge Abdul-Sattar al-Birqdar.

It's not clear if any death sentences have been carried out.

"The vast majority of these rulings were against elements of the Islamic State terrorist organisation who were proven to have committed crimes, and came after public trials conducted in accordance with the law. Defendants were afforded their rights," Birqdar said.

In December, Human Rights Watch released an 80-page report saying that Iraqi courts were violating the rights of IS suspects with flawed trials and arbitrary detentions.

Iraq faces regular criticism from diplomats and rights groups over death sentences handed down almost daily under its terror laws.

Some 20,000 people were arrested during a years-long offensive by Iraqi forces battling to retake swathes of the country from the Islamic State group. More than 3,000 have been sentenced to death to date.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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