Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 12 November 2019

Controversy in Dutch Parliament over fate of ISIS members in Iraq

MP suggests allowing execution of detained Dutch militants in Iraq may be 'pragmatic'

A fighter of the Christian Syriac militia that fought ISIS burns an ISIS flag.
A fighter of the Christian Syriac militia that fought ISIS burns an ISIS flag.

An MP from one of the Netherlands’ ruling parties has suggested that allowing ISIS members to be executed if they are tried in Iraq could be “pragmatic” if it were the only way they would get to court.

Dilan Yesilgoz-Zegerius, of the centre-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), said the death penalty was the “ultimate consequence” of Dutch citizens joining ISIS, TV channel NOS reported.

European states oppose the death penalty for people from their countries being tried in Iraq.

But Madeleine van Toorenburg of the Christian Democratic Appeals, one of the VVD’s coalition partners, said accepting the death penalty would breach treaties to which the Netherlands is party.

Iraqi officials have rejected calls not to execute foreign fighters. In May, three French ISIS members were sentenced to death.

The matter is further complicated by some European countries refusing to take back extremist fighters captured by the authorities in Syria and Iraq.

Ms Yesilgoz-Zegerius wrote a recent opinion piece saying female ISIS members did not deserve a second chance in the Netherlands because they were more than just wives who took care of their children.

She quoted evidence from Yazidi women who say they were tortured by female ISIS members.

Thousands of ISIS members, including foreign fighters, languish in jails in north-east Syria where a Turkish incursion has led to fears that the militants could break free.

European officials have so far failed to provide a way for ISIS members detained in the Middle East to be repatriated.

Updated: November 8, 2019 12:38 AM

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