Iraq condemns Turkish women

According to Rudaw, Baghdad court on Monday sentenced six Turkish women to death and a seventh to life in prison for membership of the Islamic State jihadist group, a judicial source said.

The source told AFP that the women, all accompanied by small children in the court, had surrendered to Kurdish Peshmerga fighters after having fled Tal Afar, one of the last ISIS bastions to fall to Iraqi security forces last year. The women told the court they had entered the country to join their husbands fighting for ISIS in the “caliphate” which the group declared in 2014 in territory straddling Iraq and Syria.

Iraq in February condemned another 15 Turkish women to death on the same charge. Since January, a German woman and a woman from Turkey have also been handed the death penalty, in rulings which Human Rights Watch (HRW) has condemned as “unfair”.

Experts estimate that a total of 20,000 people are being held in jail in Iraq for alleged membership of ISIS. There is no official figure. Iraq has detained at least 560 women, as well as 600 children, identified as jihadist or relatives of suspected ISIS fighters.

Separately, authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan said in early February they had detained some 4,000 suspected ISIS members, including foreigners. Iraq’s anti-terrorism law empowers courts to convict people who are believed to have helped ISIS even if they are not accused of carrying out attacks.

It also allows for the death penalty to be issued against anyone — including non-combatants — found guilty of belonging to ISIS. The New York-based HRW has urged Iraqi authorities to “develop a national strategy to prioritize the prosecution of those who committed the most serious crimes”.

Women suspected only of ISIS membership rather than any combat role are “getting the harshest possible sentences for what appears to be married to an ISIS member or a coerced border crossing,” it said, liquor stores.

Pressure on Iraqi justice system

According to Arab News, Turkey has increased diplomatic efforts to release citizens held in Iraq after 16 Turkish women linked to Daesh were sentenced to death.

Iraq is holding a series of trials of foreign fighters linked to Daesh, including women who joined the group after it launched a devastating takeover of the north of the country in 2014. About 300 Turkish women affiliated with Daesh are held in Iraqi prisons, AFP reported.

Ankara says that the detentions have no legal basis. Officials have requested the return of children and adults who have not committed any crimes, the Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah reported on Tuesday. Ankara is in contact with Iraqi authorities for their safe release, the officials said, adding that four children have returned to Turkey.

Reports say that the women, of various nationalities, currently on trial in Iraq are wives or widows of Daesh members or implicated in attacks by the group by providing its members with logistics assistance.

In court in Baghdad on Sunday, the women were sentenced to death by hanging. Four of the women were accompanied by young children. A judicial official told AFP they had all confessed to the charges and admitted entering Iraq illegally to join their Daesh militant husbands, stores near me.

A source at the Iraqi Supreme Judiciary Council told Arab News that the women have the right to appeal before the federal court.

“These women have confessed that they committed terrorist crimes on Iraqi soil and were tried according to Iraqi laws,” the source said. “No Iraqi or non-Iraqi authority has the right to interfere in the work of the judiciary.”

Jamal Assadi, a senior government legal adviser, told Arab News that every state has full freedom to try any foreigner who commits an offense on its territory. “Iraq is no exception to this principle,” he said.

ISIL Widows sentenced to death

According to Aljazeera, a Turkish woman was sentenced to death and 11 other foreign widows to life in jail by an Iraqi court, for their involvement with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS), Aljazeera reported.

The 12 women – 11 Turks and an Azeri, some of whom appeared at the court in Baghdad nursing infants – were convicted on Sunday, despite pleas they had been duped or forced by their husbands to join them in Iraq.

The women, aged between 20 and 50, were all arrested in Mosul or Tal Afar, where their husbands were killed as Iraqi forces recaptured the northern cities from ISIL last year. Only the woman condemned to death, speaking through an interpreter, acknowledged she willingly traveled to Iraq with her husband and their children.

“We had to leave Turkey because my husband was a wanted man. I wanted to live in an Islamic state where sharia (Islamic law) is the law of the land,” she said. But “I regret having come,” said the 48-year-old Turkish woman, whose husband and two sons were killed in air attacks. She broke down in tears, while another Turk almost fainted.

The state-appointed defense lawyers argued the women had all been duped into coming to Iraq and were not involved in any acts of violence. But they were found guilty under Article 4 of Iraq’s anti-terrorism law against “any person who commits, incites, plans, finances or assists in acts of terrorism”, and for illegal entry into the country, liquor stores.

“I got to know my husband through the internet. He proposed we meet in Turkey, but an intermediary there told me he would drive me to my future husband, without saying where,” said Angie Omrane, the Azeri woman. “I thought we were staying in Turkey, but I found myself in Syria and then my husband took me to Iraq.”

ISIL Widows and their offspring

On February 22, Iraq handed over dozens of Russian children and women to Moscow, those who were suspected to have links to ISIL. According to The National, Baghdad’s foreign ministry revealed that the 27 children and four women were investigated by the authorities, who declared that the said people did not join the terrorist operations against civilians and Iraq security force.

In fact, they were reportedly tricked to participate in the Daesh. The report added that they will be prosecuted in Russia for entering Iraq illegally. It can be recalled that Iraq declared the success against the extremists last December. Since then, prosecutions of foreign militants and their families went on. In August 2017, over 1300 women and children surrendered to Kurdish Peshmerga.

Senior research fellow at the University of Singapore named Fanar Haddad said that since early 2000 when the first extremist group was born, the mystery of what to do with ISIL brides and their children has been an endless issue. “This has been particularly vexing where the father is a deceased foreign fighter leaving the children effectively stateless,” Mr. Haddad explained.

“They were needed in administrative roles, they were a key part of IS’s attempt to normalize ‘the caliphate’ and they fulfilled many functions on IS’s home front,” Mr. Haddad added. After all, women played an important role in ISIL’s state-building ambitions as their part is more than just being child bearers.Papa Murphy’s customer satisfaction survey is what matters to us.

There were death penalties and life in prison sentences to women prosecuted for terrorism offenses. However, developments came after Human Rights stepped in, raising concerns that the sentences being given were “too harsh.”

“Iraq’s courts are sentencing the women to life in prison and even to death for non-violent crimes,” says the monitor. Senior Iraq researcher Belkis Wille seconded saying, “Human Rights Watch opposes the death penalty in all circumstances as an irreversible, degrading, and cruel punishment.” Furthermore, the human rights group urged Iraqi authorities to “develop a national strategy to prioritize the prosecution of those who committed the most serious crimes”.

No men will marry Islamic State widows

Houla, a 25-year-old woman has no children. Basically, she can return to her village, where the children of Islamic State militants are not welcome, regardless of their young age. However, as a militant’s widow, she revealed that her presence at home could put her whole family in danger. “If I go home they will be attacked,” she explains.

In result, Houla lived in a tent in one of Iraq’s bleak desert camps. It is where families continue to arrive daily. This is despite the fact that the war officially ended over a month ago (January 2018). A lot of the families now reportedly live in camps like Houla’s where they are shunned by their neighbors and relatives. Some of them are victims as well of Islamic State’s brutal crime.

Officials say forcing IS families to return home would inflame sectarian tensions, which are already deep and oftentimes, deadly. Widows like Houla do not deny their husband’s crimes. They responded as well that in their conservative society, women have little choice and sometimes no choice at all as to who they marry. They also do not have a say in their husband’s decision.

“I told him not to join the militants but he refused me. I knew he would get killed, and we would be left with nothing,” a 23-year-old woman named Hoda revealed. She was also a former neighbor of Houla. Kroger Feedback always matter.

The presence of IS families has created another crack in the complex and multi-ethnic society in the post-Islamic State in Iraq. Meanwhile, families and victims of IS victims of any religion frequently believe the wives and children support IS ideology. Most wives of dead or captured militants deny ever supporting IS, or their extremist views. According to VOA News, Hoda added, “Maybe some men would marry a woman with children. But no one will marry a wife of IS.”

Iraqi Widows in displaced camps

The beginning of a military campaign to retake Iraq’s second-largest city Mosul has seen the Iraqi army pushing westward towards the Tigris River. The northern city has been controlled by Islamic State, also known as ISIS, since June 2014.

The battle between the two sides resulted in a fresh wave of displacement with 2,000 civilians. The escalation of violence escalated on March 24, 2016. “We left everything behind, we have nothing. ISIS took everything,” said Umm Rayyad. A woman who declined to give her real name along with the others, Reuters reported.

“I have only two mattresses for me and my four children. We haven’t washed in a week. This place is too small for so many people,” she said.

Aside from almost one million Iraqis displaced since 2006/7, there are more than 3.3 million people in Iraq that have been displaced since January 2014.  More than half of Iraq’s displaced were women in 2015 and most of their age ranges between 25 and 59 years old.

The situation was unbearable as more than two families have no other option but to share shower and latrine. Their displacement was lacking in living spaces, unfortunately, for a society that customarily separates men and women. Sadly, there is not enough fund to support the cause, banking details will hopefully be available soon. This, of course, presents a huge problem to the people.

According to Rezhna Mohammad, the director for psychological services local charity called SEED, who was interviewed by Reuters, women are not allowed to go to the bathroom after dark. On the other hand, someone has to go watching for them as well even if they go during the daytime.

“In some camps, their movement is very restricted because they’re at greater risk of harassment and rape,” she added. Furthermore, the stigmatization of raped and sexually abused women means that survivors hesitate to openly discuss their experience, and prefer to suffer in silence.

Three Major Challenges Currently Facing Iraqi Widows

The wars in Iraq have resulted in many married men getting killed, leading to a surge in the number of Iraqi widows. The said Iraqi widows are facing many challenges. We venture to look at the three major ones.

The first major challenge currently facing Iraqi widows is that of coming up with means of livelihoods to support themselves and their kids. It is to be understood that the men whom most of these ladies lost where the main breadwinners in their families. These are the sorts of cultures were women tend to be housewives, and when the men exit prematurely, then things can indeed be very difficult.

The second major challenge currently facing Iraqi widows is that of bringing up children on their own, at a difficult time. Here, we have to appreciate that the main thing that women require from men is security (lots of expert articles on websites like PsycCentral and Psychology Today support this). Yet here we have women who have lost their men at a time when they have the greatest need for the security that the men could provide.

The third major challenge currently facing Iraqi widows is that of grieving their lost husbands. It is to be understood that some of these widows are women who were married for decades, to the men who are now dead. Losing a marriage partner you have lived with for so long can be indeed very difficult. Even in the best of circumstances, grieving a life partner can be hard. Yet here we have women who have to deal with that challenge, alongside the other challenges associated with living in a war zone or living in a refugee camp.