Iraq Executes 12 Daesh Prisoners as ‘Forceful Revenge’ for Slain Captives
Iraq executed 12 Daesh militants on the orders of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi Thursday. The killings come in retaliation for the murder of eight Daesh captives, who the group previously claimed to be Iraqi police officers.
Abadi ordered the “immediate” execution of hundreds of convicted jihadists after the bodies of eight people turned up decomposing and strapped with explosives off a highway north of the Iraqi capital0 of Baghdad.
“By order of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, 12 terrorists sentenced to death (whose appeals were exhausted) were executed on Thursday,” a statement from the Prime Minister’s office cited by the Times of Israel for a Friday story said. It’s unclear how they were executed, but death sentences for terrorism charges are usually conducted by hanging in Iraq.
More than 300 people, including some 100 foreign-born women, have been sentenced to death in Iraq, while hundreds of others face life behind bars for their membership in Daesh, the Times of Israel has reported.
Most of the women are from Turkey or former Soviet republics.
“We promise that we will kill or arrest those who committed this crime,” Abadi told senior military officials Thursday, just a day after the bodies turned up. “Our security and military forces will take forceful revenge against these terrorist cells,” he said, vowing to kill the remaining terrorists whose appeals have been exhausted.
Of the eight slain Daesh captives, six had appeared in an Daesh propaganda video published Saturday in which the terrorist group claimed they were police officers or members of the Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary group, which was pivotal in the Islamists’ defeat. Daesh threatened to kill them if the central government did not release Sunni female prisoners within 72 hours, according to the Times of Israel.
However, the autopsies of the bodies indicated that they had already been killed when the video was published, according to Abadi, who accused the terrorist group of trying to dupe authorities.
Abadi is facing criticism from both sides of the debate about what to do with the captives. After the bodies of the eight Daesh captives turned up, he fell under fire from some on social media who complained that he wasn’t forceful enough in dealing with the Daesh problem, according to the Times of Israel.
Meanwhile, the New York-based Human Rights Watch has urged restraint, having called upon Iraq’s judiciary to deal with foreign women and children on an individual level as opposed to issuing blanket sentences. They called on the country to “take into account their individual circumstances and actions and give priority to prosecuting the most serious crimes while exploring alternatives for lesser ones.”