Iraqi Court Sentences French Woman To Life For Joining Islamic State
The 28-year-old and a mother of four, Melina Boughedir was initially sentenced to six months in jail for entering the country illegally. She was condemned to prison by a court in Baghdad in February. However, when the prosecutors showed new pieces of evidence, the court ordered a retrial. The pieces of evidence shown include photos of her French husband posing with IS fighters.
On June 3, she was found guilty of belonging to the IS. She was handed a life sentence which in Iraq is equivalent to 20 years.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said last week that Boughedir was a “combatant” and a IS “terrorist”
Boughedir was detained in the northern city of Mosul last year. She was represented by three lawyers. Boughedir appeared in court with her 2-year-old daughter.
In court, Boughedir denied the charges, stating that she travelled to Iraq under false pretenses. Her three older children have been deported to France.
“I am innocent,” she told the judge in French. With the help of a translator, she said, “My husband tricked me and then he threatened to leave with the children”.
She even asserted that she was opposed to the IS group’s ideology.
Vincent Brengarth, one of Boughedir’s lawyers, said, “We have the feeling that the verdict had already been decided upon, and indeed it was delivered immediately.”
Melina Boughedir is the second French citizen sentenced to life in prison in Iraq this year. In April, a court sentenced 27-year-old Djamila Boutoutaou for the same crime. She was also claimed to have been deceived by her husband.
Iraq had detained thousands of people. Hundreds of foreigners had been detained. Some have been banished, while others have been punished in quick trials.
Deepali Is An Intern With SheThePeople.TV