Feb 26 2018

16 Turkish women sentenced to death over ISIS links

An Iraqi court sentenced 16 Turkish women to death for belonging to Islamic State (ISIS), Deutsche Welle reported.

The women have a month to appeal the verdicts, a court official said.

The women told the court that they had entered Iraq illegally to be with their husbands who had joined ISIS to fight in the country. One woman told the judge she had actively taken part.

Iraq is bringing hundreds of foreign women to trial for alleged links to the group. One German woman has already been handed a death sentence and a 17-year-old German who married an ISIS fighter was given a six-year jail term last week, the German broadcaster said.

Some of the women at the trial, between the ages of 20 and 50, were accompanied by young children, Deutsche Welle said.

Human Rights Watch has said such sentences are "unfair" and some activists argued that many of the women were tricked or coerced into joining the terrorist group.

About 1,300 women and children also surrendered to Kurdish forces in northern Iraq in August, officials in Iraqi Kurdistan said. Estimates indicate that there are 20,000 people held in custody in Iraq over ties to ISIS, Deutsche Well reported.