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Iraq Sentences 2 Russian Women to Life in Prison for Islamic State Ties

Zubair Bairakov / TASS

Iraq has reportedly sentenced two Russian women to life in prison for ties to Islamic State. 

Iraq has held around 1,400 foreign wives and children of suspected Islamic State fighters since U.S.-backed forces recaptured the city of Mosul in 2017. Most of them hail from Turkey, followed by women from Russia and the former Soviet republics.

A criminal court in Iraq sentenced two Russian women and one French woman to life sentences in prison for Islamic State ties, local media reported Tuesday. 

Three Azerbaijani women and one Kyrgyz woman were reportedly sentenced to death.

Elvira Beremova, born in 1997, and Alisa Ismailova, born in 1992, were convicted on charges of terrorism and illegally crossing the border, the BBC Russia service reported on Tuesday, citing a member of the Chechen human rights council.

Beremova is reportedly a mother of two and Ismailova is a mother of three. 

A Russian senator told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency that Moscow has two weeks to file an appeal.

“We did our best to alleviate the plight of the imprisoned Russian women without violating the laws of Iraq,” RIA cited Russian Senator Ziyad Sabsabi as saying.

RIA reported that Beremova and Ismailova are listed among 57 Russian women and around 100 of their children detained in a female prison in Baghdad as of March.

Islamic State is a terrorist group banned in Russia.

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