Human Rights Watch (HRW) yesterday warned European countries against transferring hundreds of Daesh members from the prisons of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to Iraq.
HRW expressed concerns that some European countries are seeking to transfer their nationals, who joined Daesh, to Iraq because they are unwilling to repatriate them. The move comes after Turkey launched an operation east of the Euphrates River in Syria to create a safe zone in the area which was previously captured by Kurdish forces, who manage prisons in which Daesh members are being held.
“Given Iraq’s record of unfair trials, European countries should not push for the transfer of their nationals,” said Balqees Wali, a researcher on Iraq’s issues in the organisation.
Wali considered that any government that supports this step, “without taking the necessary measures to prevent the prisoners from the risk of torture, false trials or execution, contributes to the occurrence of serious violations.”
The organisation, which tracks the trials of Daesh elements in Iraq, says the judicial proceedings are unfair and flawed by numerous abuses.
HRW urged France, Denmark, Germany, Britain, and other countries to recover their nationals rather than transfer them to Iraq.
In an article published in the Wall Street Journal, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed not to allow any Daesh fighter to flee north-eastern Syria after Western countries expressed concerns about the implications of the military operation launched by Ankara in the area.
“We will ensure that no ISIS [Daesh] fighter leaves north-eastern Syria,” Erdogan wrote.
Many countries have already transferred some of their nationals suspected of joining the ranks of Daesh to Iraq for trial.
During the summer, 11 French nationals who were arrested in Syria and tried in Iraq for joining Daesh were sentenced to death by Iraqi courts.