Islamic State: Iraq sentences French citizens to death

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A member of the Iraqi rapid response forces walks past a wall painted with the black flag commonly used by Islamic State militants, at a hospital damaged by clashes during a battle between Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants in the Wahda district of Mosul, Iraq,Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The three men were found guilty of joining Islamic State (IS) (stock image)

Three Frenchmen have been sentenced to death by an Iraqi court after being found guilty of joining the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

The men – named as Kevin Gonot, Leonard Lopez and Salim Machou by AFP news agency – have 30 days to appeal.

They were among 12 French citizens captured in Syria by US-backed fighters before being transferred to Iraq for trial in February.

The three are the first IS suspects from France to be sentenced to death.

France has yet to react to Sunday’s court ruling in Baghdad.

But when pressed on the issue in February, French President Emmanuel Macron declined to comment, saying it was a sovereign matter for Iraq.

The Iraqi courts have so far tried hundreds of alleged foreign militants, but none has been executed so far.

Human rights groups have heavily criticised such trials, which they say often rely on circumstantial evidence or confessions made during torture.

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