The Netherlands and Iraq discuss establishing Islamic State tribunal
The Netherlands and Iraq are contemplating setting up a tribunal to try Dutch citizens who joined ISIS.
The subject was discussed between Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Stef Blok met with his Iraqi counterpart Ali Alhakim at last week’s UN General Assembly in New York.
A regional meeting with the participation of 20 countries has also been planned and will be attended by Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney.
Iraq holds almost 20,000 ISIS fighters, of whom 1,000 are foreigners. The willingness to hold the meeting is seen by Blok as a move by Baghdad to establish closer cooperation with the Netherlands as the Dutch government does not want to see the return of its citizens who joined terror groups. At the same time, the Netherlands wants to avoid the death penalty for Dutch citizens, which is legal in Iraq.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) hold an estimated 800 European ISIS fighters in makeshift prisons, as well as a larger number of related women and children in refugee camps located in northeastern Syria.
Many of the European ISIS volunteers claim to have been ambulance drivers or serving in auxiliary positions, which makes building a case against them difficult. While it appears impossible to set up an international tribunal in Syria, where the security situation fluctuates, European governments are looking at creating courts in Iraq.
Under Iraqi law, however, accused terror suspects can only be charged if they were active inside Iraq’s borders. Further complicating the matter is the fact that the country’s laws prohibit special tribunals.
Source: New Europe