The French foreign ministry said it was opposed, in principle, to the death penalty, but also said it accepted Iraqi sovereignty after Iraq’s justice ministry sentenced three French citizens to death for their allegiance to Islamic State on Sunday 26 May. Kévin Gonot, Léonard Lopez and Salim Machou were part of the twelve French people arrested in Syria by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and then transferred to Iraq in February. The three men, who rejected the verdict and asked, unsuccessfully, to be tried in France, according to their assigned lawyer, now have thirty days to appeal. Human rights organizations regularly warn about risks of torture and lack of guarantees for fair trials in Iraq. These alerts did not affect the position of Paris. France refuses to repatriate its nationals who have joined the ranks of the IS in Iraq and Syria, and believes that it is up to the local authorities to judge them.
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