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Iraq wants $2.2m for each foreign fighter tried on its territory

October 2, 2019 at 2:07 pm

Fighters against Daesh hold up a Daesh flag in Mosul after the city was liberated from the terrorist organisation [PaulGrantBilous/Twitter]

The Iraqi government is asking countries to pay €2 million ($2.18 million) for every foreign combatant tried on its territory, according to official documents, which Belgian magazine Knack reported on.

The countries, which include Belgium and six other EU member states, have reportedly been involved in discrete negotiations with Baghdad over the financial aspect of the trials of suspected foreign fighters, likely belonging to Daesh.

Iraq also expects the home governments of the jihadists to cover costs relating to food, medical care, guarding and other associated administrative and legal services per year.

READ: Daesh makes resurgence in Syria, captures town, attacks Kurdish and Russia forces

At least 11 French nationals have been tried in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, according to Nabil Boudi, a lawyer who represents European nationals held in Syria and Iraq for suspected links to Daesh.

It has previously been reported that the US had quietly sent suspected Daesh fighters held in Syria to Iraq for prosecution.

France may also be implicated, Boudi explained: “If France’s involvement in the transfer [of French prisoners from Syria to Iraq] is documented, proved, France will be condemned in international and European courts.”

In August, US President Donald Trump threatened to release “thousands” of Daesh prisoners held in Syria “to Europe” if their countries refuse to repatriate their citizens.

While there is no common European policy on how to handle detained foreign fighters from Europe, Iraq has shown it is willing to prosecute.

A report by International Centre for Counter-Terrorism says the majority of the “foreign fighters” — about 2,800 in total — come from just four EU countries: Belgium, France, Germany, and the UK.

Belgium is the European country with the highest per capita number of foreign Daesh fighters.

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