France to press Iraq against death penalty for 3 French ISIL members
PARIS- Agence France-Presse
The French government said on May 27 that it would take "the necessary steps" to try to prevent Iraq from carrying out the death penalty against three French citizens convicted of fighting alongside the ISIL.
"France is opposed in principle to the death penalty at all times and in all places," the foreign ministry said in a statement after the three ISIL members were sentenced on May 26.
It said the detained men were receiving consular assistance to ensure they had legal representation ahead of an expected appeal of the ruling, which they can lodge within 30 days.
It added, however, that France "respects the sovereignty of Iraq's institutions.”
France has long insisted that its adult citizens captured in Iraq or Syria must face trial locally, refusing to repatriate them despite the risk they face capital punishment for waging their jihadist war in the region.
three French fighters, Kevin Gonot, Leonard Lopez and Salim Machou, were transferred to Iraq for trial.
They were among 13 French nationals caught in battle-scarred eastern Syria and handed to Iraqi authorities in February on suspicion of being members of ISIL's feared contingent of foreign fighters.