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story.lead_photo.caption FILE - in this Sunday, May 5, 2019 file photo, people walk outside Iraqi Criminal Court in Baghdad's Karkh district, Iraq. A court in Baghdad sentenced Sunday two French citizens to death for being members of the Islamic State group including one who last week said he was subjected to torture while in detention, an Iraqi judicial official said. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed, File)

BAGHDAD -- A court in Baghdad on Sunday sentenced two French citizens to death for being members of the Islamic State extremist group, including one who last week said he was subjected to torture while in detention, an Iraqi judicial official said.

The sentencings in Iraq come as questions are raised about the legal treatment of thousands of foreign fighters who joined the Islamic State at the height of its power in Syria and Iraq, when the militant group declared its self-styled caliphate.

Human-rights groups are concerned that the defendants are being rushed through Iraqi counterterrorism courts. Convictions are often based on confessions that defendants and rights groups say are extracted by intimidation, torture and abuse and without due process.

The judicial official said the court sentenced to death Fadil Hamad Abdallah, 33, and Vianney Jamal Abdelqader, 29. Abdallah, who was known within the group as Abu Mariam, told the court last week that he was subjected to torture. He was then referred to a medical committee that, after examining him, said he had made false claims about torture.

The judicial official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The number of French citizens given death sentences over the past two weeks has risen to nine.

France has said it would do all it can to spare the group from execution in Iraq. Although it has made no effort to take back the captured fighters, France has adopted a stance against the death penalty worldwide.

Although European members of the Islamic State have been sentenced to death, none have been executed in Iraq.

Those sentenced are among a group of 12 French citizens who were detained by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in Syria and handed over to neighboring Iraq in January.

The Kurdish-led group spearheaded the fight against the Islamic State in Syria and has handed hundreds of suspected Islamic State members over to Iraq in recent months.

An Iraqi intelligence official said the Syrian Democratic Forces handed over to Syria 1,142 Iraqi Islamic State members, and 157 were sentenced to death. He added that five other foreigners were transferred to Iraq: two Iranians, two Tunisians and a Chinese citizen. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Also in Baghdad, Iraqi authorities handed over 122 Turkish children of suspected Islamic State militants to Turkey's government representatives, officials said. Sunday's move came days after 188 other children were handed over to Turkish authorities.

In an interview with Turkey's official Anadolu news agency last month, Turkey's ambassador in Baghdad said he aimed to repatriate all children of Turkish Islamic State families from Iraq ahead of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and is expected to begin Tuesday.

Ambassador Fatih Yildiz also said Turkey asked Iraq to return all Turkish citizens, but the process was complicated by an agreement that barred suspects with terror links from repatriation.

A Section on 06/03/2019

Print Headline: 2 more militants sentenced to die

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