Baghdad — An Iraqi court on Sunday sentenced three French citizens to death after they were found guilty of joining the Islamic State (IS) group, the first IS members from France to be handed capital punishment, a court official said. Captured in Syria by a US-backed force fighting the jihadists, Kevin Gonot, Leonard Lopez and Salim Machou were transferred to Iraq for trial. They have 30 days to appeal. Iraq has taken custody of thousands of jihadists repatriated in recent months from neighbouring Syria, where they were caught by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) during the battle to destroy the IS “caliphate”. The Iraqi judiciary said earlier in May that it has tried and sentenced more than 500 foreign suspected IS members since the start of 2018. Its courts have condemned many to life in prison and others to death, although no foreign IS members have yet been executed. The trials have been criticised by rights groups, which say they often rely on evidence obtained throu...

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