A best UN human rights pro has referred to as on the governing administration of France to repatriate and attempt 7 French nationals sentenced to loss of life on “terror” fees in Iraq, drawing a sharp rebuke from Paris.
In a assertion issued on Monday, Agnes Callamard, UN distinctive rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, expressed “critical concerns” about the men’s destiny.
“There are major allegations that the sentences ended up handed down subsequent unfair trials, with the accused owning no adequate lawful representation, or helpful consular guidance,” Callamard claimed.
She explained Iraq’s authorized program was “marred by very major structural challenges”.
Earlier this yr, eleven French citizens were being reportedly sentenced to cling in Iraq right after getting handed about to Iraqi authorities by US and French-backed Kurdish forces who captured them in Syria.
Paris responded to the enchantment by stating that its placement on the challenge had been regular: “Adult French nationals, adult men and females, getting joined (IS) to struggle in (Iraq and Syria)… should really be tried using closest to where they committed their crimes.”
Paris “respects the sovereignty of the Iraqi point out, which include its judicial establishments that have reported they are skilled to consider French fighters belonging to IS,” the French foreign ministry mentioned in a statement.
It additional that Baghdad was “informed that France opposes money punishment and asks that the death penalty not be utilized”.
Callamard’s allegations “are in no way backed up (and) are pure speculation,” the statement claimed.
Hundreds of foreigners have been sentenced to demise or lifetime imprisonment in Iraq for belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also regarded as ISIS) armed group.
European governments have prolonged debated whether or not and how to take back former fighters and their supporters amid a host of stability, political and legal challenges.
Alleged torture, sick-therapy
The seven French nationals have been arrested by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and subsequently transferred to Iraq in February, allegedly at the ask for of the French governing administration or with its suspected involvement, Callamard said.
Once in Iraq, they had been reportedly subject to torture or other ill-remedy, she added.
“In these situation, the transfer of individuals to Iraq for prosecution is unlawful. I am significantly disturbed by allegations that France may have experienced a purpose in this transfer, given the risk associated of torture and unfair trials and that they would most likely facial area the dying penalty,” Callamard additional.
She has written to French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe with her problems.
Callamard named the guys as Fodil Tahar Aouidate, Mourad Delhomme, Karam El Harchaoui, Bilel Kabaoui, Leonard Lopez, Brahim Nejara and Vianney Ouraghi.
The destiny of the other four French citizens on dying row is unclear.
Final week, Iraqi Key Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi declared that his govt was not empowered to reduce the sentences of overseas fighters experiencing the demise sentence.
Iraqi legislation stipulates the dying penalty for any individual becoming a member of a “terrorist group” – even people who did not acquire up arms.
France and other European international locations have strongly resisted the repatriation of their nationals suspected of becoming a member of ISIL.
France is also staunchly opposed to money punishment.