The platform for Belgium's international community

Search form

menu menu
  • Daily & Weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment on our articles

Belgians fighting in Iraq ‘could get death penalty’

18:41 09/10/2017

Iraq’s ambassador to Belgium, Jawad al-Chlaihawi, has stated that Belgians arrested in Iraq who are fighting on the side of Islamic State could face the death penalty. Iraq does not want to repatriate prisoners to other countries, preferring to try and sentence them inside the country, he told RTBF.

Iraq’s recent offensive against IS extremists has taken back key urban centres and seen huge losses on the IS side. Al-Chlaihawi said that the mission has at least two months to go.

“We have arrested many Russian and Chechen rebels, but also about 100 Europeans, including Belgians,” he confirmed. “Most of them are at risk of getting the death penalty.”

It is unclear, he continued, whether Belgium would request its citizens be returned to face a legal process here. “Some countries don’t want them back,” he said. “In terms of Belgium, no one has asked to bring terrorists back into the country. But we are currently working on identifying prisoners, and then it will be decided how to proceed.”

Written by Lisa Bradshaw