French Woman Tells Court She Does not Believe in ISIS Ideology

Published May 3rd, 2018 - 11:31 GMT
Baghdad's Central Criminal Court shows women who have been sentenced to life in prison on grounds of joining ISIS standing with their children in a hallway. (Ammar Karim / AFP)
Baghdad's Central Criminal Court shows women who have been sentenced to life in prison on grounds of joining ISIS standing with their children in a hallway. (Ammar Karim / AFP)

Melina Boughedir, a French citizen, who was put on trial in Baghdad on terrorism charges, denied believing in the ideology of ISIS, Agence France Presse reported Wednesday.

The 27-year-old mother of four faces the death penalty over her alleged membership of ISIS.

Arrested in the summer of 2017 in Mosul, Boughedir was sentenced last February to seven months in prison for "illegal" entry into the country and was set to be deported back to France.

But upon re-examining her file, an Iraqi court found that Boughedir knew her husband planned on joining ISIS in Iraq and that she "knowingly" followed him, AFP quoted a judicial source as saying.

On the first day of her new trial Wednesday, the judge asked Boughedir if she knew where her husband was. 

"One day he went to get water and he disappeared, I don't know anything about it," she said. 



When asked if she believed in ISIS's ideology, she said: "Not at all. This is the case for many foreign women married to ISIS men.”

The judge showed Boughedir a series of photos, in one of which she appeared, asking whether she recognized various people.

"For someone who claims to have been forced to come to Iraq because your husband was threatening to take your children, you look very relaxed," the judge said, referring to the picture.

"I was at home and the picture was taken by my husband," Boughedir said. 

The next hearing is set for June 3 at the request of Boughedir's new attorney, an Iraqi chosen by the family. 

Last month, an Iraqi court sentenced another French woman, Djamila Boutoutaou, to life in prison for belonging to ISIS despite her pleas that she had been duped by her husband. 

Since the beginning of the year, Baghdad courts have sentenced more than 280 foreign militants to death or to life in prison, according to a judicial source. 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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