Iraq sentences French female jihadist to life in jail

Apr 17, 2018, 17:30 IST | AFP

She said she thought they were going on holiday but "when I arrived in Turkey I discovered that my husband was a jihadist"

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Iraq on Tuesday sentenced a French woman to life in prison for belonging to the Islamic State group, the latest in a series of court rulings since the country's defeat of IS. Djamila Boutoutaou, a 29-year-old of Algerian origin, told a Baghdad court that she had left France with her husband, a rapper.

She said she thought they were going on holiday but "when I arrived in Turkey I discovered that my husband was a jihadist".

She said she was forced by her husband to join IS and live in the "caliphate" that the jihadists proclaimed in 2014 straddling Syria and Iraq.

Her husband was killed near the former jihadist stronghold of Mosul, northern Iraq, and her son died in the bombardment, Boutoutaou said.

Two Russian women, both holding children in their arms, were also sentenced to life in prison at the same hearing. Iraq declared victory in December against IS, which at one point controlled a third of the country.

The Iraqi anti-terrorism law empowers courts to convict people who are believed to have helped IS even if they are not accused of violence.

In January, an Iraqi court condemned a German woman to death after finding her guilty of belonging to IS.

A court the following month sentenced another French woman to seven months in jail for entering Iraq illegally but ordered her release on time already served. Several dozen Turkish women have been sentenced to death under Iraqi anti-terrorism laws.

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