BAGHDAD (Dispatches) - Now that the terrorist group of Daesh is considered largely contained, the next challenge is what to do with the thousands of terrorists captured and awaiting trial, many of them in Iraq.
In addition to thousands of its own people imprisoned for fighting for Daesh, Iraq is under pressure to receive and try some 1,000 foreigners in the hand of Syrian Kurds. It would seem expedient to try the detainees there, rather than shipping them back to the roughly 50 other countries involved.
Paris doesn't want these fighters back and French President Emmanuel Macron, for one, thinks the trials should be conducted in Iraq — except for the strong possibility Iraq will sentence many of them to death.
The Iraqi judiciary often issues death sentences against Daesh members. France outlawed the death penalty in 1977. In January 2018, French officials threatened to intervene should death sentences be issued against two extremist French nationals. Yet Macron now says French Deash members who were captured in Iraq and Syria must be tried in the countries where they face charges.
A judicial source told Al-Monitor that Baghdad is preparing to try French nationals "who fought alongside the terrorist group of Daesh in Iraq and Syria and who were arrested by the Syrian forces in Syria a few weeks ago.” So far there are about a dozen, but more are expected.