2019-03-05 19:22:00

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has warned against transferring Daesh suspects from Syria to Iraq for trial, saying the militants might be subject to torture.

At least 280 suspected Daesh militants were transferred last week from Syria to Iraq by the U.S.-backed Syria Democratic Forces (SDF), which is led by the PYD-YPG, the Syrian branch of PKK terrorist organization.

According to HRW, at least 13 French suspects were among those transferred from Syria to Iraq.

Last month, Iraqi President Barham Salih said that the Iraqi justice system would be prosecuting the French suspects “according to Iraqi law.”

"Despite Salih’s assurance that Iraq is acting within the confines of international law, the record of previous ISIS [Daesh] trials in Iraq shows that these transfers may instead violate it, as detainees risk torture in detention," the New York-based rights group warned.

“Furthermore, detainees are subject to unfair trials that could still end in the death penalty,” it said.

HRW said the Iraqi trials of Daesh suspects have consisted of only one judge with confessions often coerced with no effective legal representation.

“Authorities have also made no efforts to solicit victim participation in the trials, even as witnesses,” it said.

Shortly after its sudden appearance in mid-2014, the notorious terrorist group overran vast swathes of territory in northern Syria and northern and western Iraq.

In late 2017, Baghdad declared victory over Daesh following a three-year war that ended with the fall of Mosul, the group’s last remaining stronghold in Iraq.

The Iraqi army, however, continues to wage frequent operations against Daesh "sleeper cells" that allegedly remain active in certain parts of the country.