Frenchman handed down death penalty in Iraq for joining Islamic State

Islamic State militant

Baghdad ( – A French man was sentenced Monday to death by an Iraqi court after being found guilty of joining the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

The man was identified as 37-year-old Mustapha Merzoughi.

“The evidence and the confession show that you joined the Islamic State group, that you worked in its military branch,” the judge told Merzoughi before handing down his sentence.

The verdict comes a day after three Frenchmen were handed down a death penalty for belonging to the militant group.

France said on Monday it will take “the necessary steps” to try to prevent Iraq carrying out the death penalty against the French citizens.

“France is opposed in principle to the death penalty at all times and in all places,” the French foreign ministry said.

The ministry said the detained men were receiving consular assistance to ensure they had legal representation ahead of an expected appeal, which they have 30 days to lodge.

It added, however, that France “respects the sovereignty of Iraq’s institutions”.

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