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Iraq sentences 7th Frenchman to death for ISIS membership

Read: 510     09:14     30 May 2019    

A Baghdad court sentenced a Frenchman to death on Wednesday for joining ISIS, bringing to seven the number of French militants on death row in Iraq.

Yassin Sakkam was among 12 French citizens transferred to Iraqi authorities in January by a US-backed force fighting the militant group in Syria.

“I admit to having sworn allegiance” to ISIS, he told the court, saying he was paid $70 (62 euros) a month.

Sakkam, now 29, left France in late 2014 to fight for ISIS, posting online pictures of himself carrying arms and speaking to multiple media outlets about ISIS.

Human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, have consistently criticized the judicial system of Iraq for passing sentences based on circumstantial evidence and confessions obtained under torture.

On May 28, the French Foreign Ministry announced that it was negotiating to prevent the death penalty for the French citizens in Iraq. All the same, their repatriation is not discussed.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drianrecalled that according to the French position, terrorists should be tried where they committed crimes. “But we are making efforts so that these four escape the execution,” he said. The death penalty is abolished in France.


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