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.”