Iraq court sentences fourth French ISIS member to death, France opposes


A court here on Monday announced death sentence for a fourth French citizen in a row for joining the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS).

Al Jazeera confirmed after quoting Iraqi court officials that the man, identified as Mustafa Mohammed Ibrahim, 37, had been sentenced to death by hanging, a day after three other Frenchmen were given death sentences for being ISIL members.

In a statement, the French foreign ministry said following the judgment that it respected the sovereignty of the Iraqi authorities and that ISIL members “had to answer for their crimes”.

“The French embassy in Iraq, in its role as a provider of consular protection, is taking the necessary steps to convey its position to the Iraq authorities,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, human rights groups have repeatedly criticised the trials, which they say often rely on circumstantial evidence or confessions obtained under torture.

In addition, the French foreign ministry has also reportedly reiterated its opposition to the death penalty, saying it would take “the necessary steps” to prevent Iraq from carrying out capital punishment against its citizens.

“France is opposed in principle to the death penalty at all times and in all places,” the ministry said in a statement cited by the state media.

Paris has so far categorically refused to take back ISIL fighters and their wives, although a handful of children have been repatriated.

On Sunday, the Bagdad court had three French citizens, named Kevin Gonot, Leonard Lopez and Salim Machou, sentenced to death.

The four convicted men were handed over to the Iraqi authorities in February by the United States-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), part of a group of 280 Iraqi and foreign detainees that also included the French citizens.

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