Iraqi court sentences Belgian citizen to death over IS membership

Islamic State fighters

Baghdad ( – An Iraqi court has sentenced a Belgian national to death by hanging for belonging to the Islamic State militant group.

Bilal al-Marchohi, 23, was found guilty of belonging to Islamic State and carrying out terrorist attacks on its behalf.

“I shouldn’t be prosecuted in Iraq,” Marchohi was quoted by Reuters as saying during today’s hearing. “I should be prosecuted in Belgium. I am a Belgian citizen.”

During an hour of proceedings, the presiding judge read out portions of Marchohi’s signed confession and showed a video and photographs that he said proved his membership of IS.

The images from a phone found in his possession at the time of his arrest showed Marchohi carrying a gun and making a hand gesture affiliated with the militants. Several pictures showed him cradling his infant son.

Marchohi denied all allegations against him in open court, including that he was a member of IS at any time.

Judge Jumaa Saidi told the court that the photographs were clear evidence Marchohi was a member of Islamic State.

Iraqi courts have sentenced many of Islamic State members, including a big number of female members, to death over joining the militant group.

The exact number of detained militants is still unknown, however, it’s estimated to be at thousands. It’s also unclear how many members are likely to face death sentences.

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