The French FM Jean-Yves Le Drian wants to find a way to have a judicial mechanism that is able to judge Daesh fighters. (File/AFP)
The French FM Jean-Yves Le Drian wants to find a way to have a judicial mechanism that is able to judge Daesh fighters. (File/AFP)

French FM in Iraq to discuss ISIS prisoners in Syria

Thu, Oct. 17, 2019
CAIRO – 17 October 2019: French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian held talks in Baghdad on Thursday about transferring foreign militants from northern Syria to be tried in Iraq.

Concerns have been on the rise since the announcement of a Turkish offensive that has triggered fears of mass jailbreaks.

European governments are worried that the Turkish operation will allow the escape of some of the 12,000 suspected ISIS group fighters.

In his talks with his Iraqi counterpart Mohammed Ali Al-Hakim, President Barham Saleh and Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi, Le Drian said, “We need to work things out with the Iraqi authorities so that we can find a way to have a judicial mechanism that is able to judge all these fighters, including obviously the French fighters.”

One issue will be Iraq’s use of the death penalty, which is outlawed throughout the EU.

Belgium, Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden sent officials on a technical mission to Baghdad this week to assess the situation.

“There are talks between the Americans, the British, French and Iraqis about funding the construction of prisons,” Hisham Al-Hashemi, an Iraqi expert on ISIS, told AFP.

Hundreds of foreigners have been sentenced to death or life imprisonment in Iraq for belonging to ISIS.

According to the Kurdish administration, there are around 12,000 suspected ISIS fighters in the custody of Kurdish security forces across northeastern Syria.

At least 2,500 of them are non-Iraqi foreigners of more than 50 different nationalities. Tunisia is thought to have the biggest contingent.
 
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