UN Report Slams Iraq Trials of Alleged ISIS Members
A joint report by the UN’s Human Rights Office in Iraq and the Office of the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has raised “serious concerns” about 794 trials of alleged Islamic State members in Iraq, OHCHR spokesman Jeremy Laurence said in a news briefing in Geneva on Tuesday. “[The report] raises serious concerns about unfair trials placing defendants at a serious disadvantage,” Laurence said. In some cases, the defendants merely sold vegetables to, prepared meals for or provided medical services to ISIS members. One young man, 14 years old at the time of his conviction, was given a 15-year sentence for acting, along with other members of his family, as a human shield to protect ISIS fighters from airstrikes. A pharmacist was given a life sentence for providing wounded ISIS members with medicine. In 109 cases, the defendants were sentenced to death. In 260 cases, the defendants claimed to have been tortured or mistreated, and judges generally did not take this into consideration when considering their confessions.