IRAQ: 7TH FRENCHMAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR IS MEMBERSHIP
|Isis fighters, pictured on a militant website verified by AP.
May 30, 2019:
A Baghdad court sentenced a Frenchman to death on 29 May 2019 for joining the Islamic State group, bringing to seven the number of French jihadists on death row in Iraq. (Sources: AFP, 29/05/2019)
Yassin Sakkam, 29, was among 12 French citizens transferred to Iraqi authorities in January by the Syrian Democratic Force, a US-backed force fighting the jihadist group in neighbouring Syria.
"I admit to having sworn allegiance" to IS, he told the court, saying he was paid $70 a month.
Sakkam, who was dressed in a yellow prison uniform, said he regretted his decision to join IS, and asked to be pardoned.
Sakkam, now aged 29, left France in late 2014 to fight for IS, posting pictures online of himself carrying arms and speaking to multiple media outlets about the group.
He became one of the most notorious jihadists from France, which has been seeking his arrest since 2016.
Kurdish authorities detained him in Syria in 2017.
France has long insisted its adult citizens captured in Iraq or Syria must face trial locally, while reiterating its opposition to capital punishment.
Iraqi law provides for the death penalty for anyone joining a "terrorist group" -- even those who did not take up arms.