French Citizens Sentenced to Death in Iraq: A Mockery of Justice

With two new rulings issued on Monday, 3 June 2019, there are now a total of 11 French citizens sentenced to death by Iraqi courts in speedy and unfair trials, for “belonging to the Islamic State group.”

The bewildering statements made by French minister of foreign affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, asserting that the Iraqi justice system had ensured “due process”, do not hold up to scrutiny of the facts: weak prosecution cases, court-appointed attorneys who had only partial or delayed access to their clients’ files, hastened trials in violation of the rights of the defense, torture during interrogation, absence of victims, etc.

France must not tolerate this miscarriage of justice, let alone the death sentences for its citizens. The French government has a duty to fully assume its responsibilities towards its citizens, regardless of the charges against them, particularly in light of the absence of the most basic elements of a fair trial, including right to counsel. Such trials should take place in France; not only those prosecuting acts of terrorism, but also those concerning crimes against humanity committed on Iraqi and Syrian territory.

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