More than 500 foreign ISIS members convicted in Iraq

The Iraqi judiciary has tried and sentenced more than 500 foreigners since the start of 2018 for joining the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS), AFP reported Wednesday (May 8th).

According to Iraq’s Supreme Court, "514 verdicts were issued, for both men and women, while another 202 accused are still being interrogated and 44 are still being tried".

Another 11 were acquitted and released, it said.

The statement referred to "different nationalities" but did not list specific countries.

It said interrogations were taking about six months for those simply accused of ISIS membership, but anyone accused of actively taking part in the group's operations could be questioned for up to a year.

Government sources have told AFP that Baghdad would be willing to try all foreigners currently held in Kurdish detention in north-east Syria for a price.

Around 1,000 suspected foreign ISIS fighters are in detention in north-east Syria, in addition to around 9,000 foreign women and children in camps there.

Wednesday's statement by the court "urged all trials of foreign terrorists to be moved to Baghdad, as most of the embassies are in the capital and so embassy representatives from the terrorists' countries can attend the sessions".

Iraq has also already tried thousands of its own nationals arrested on home soil for joining ISIS.

It has begun trial proceedings for nearly 900 Iraqis repatriated from Syria and sentenced four to death last month under its counter-terrorism law.

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