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Russia receives 1,000 requests from Daesh widows for return: Official

Muslim Times(Web Desk) – Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova says Moscow has received hundreds of requests from the widows of Daesh Takfiri terrorists, who were slain either in Iraq or Syria over the past few years, to return home.

Speaking at a conference in the Russian capital city of Moscow on Tuesday, Moskalkova said over 1,000 requests have been submitted to Russian authorities, adding that the women have “sustained an unimaginable violence.”

She further noted that the repatriation of the Daesh widows is a difficult process, given the fact that they have been involved in acts of terror and their return could pose a threat to the safety of Russian citizens.

On April 29, the Central Criminal Court of Iraq, which is the country’s flagship criminal justice institution, found 19 female Russian citizens guilty of “joining and supporting Daesh” and handed down life sentences to them.

The court issued the verdicts as women, all accompanied by small children, attended the hearing.

Ziyad Sabsabi, a Russian senator and Deputy Chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, had earlier warned that the Russian women would face death penalty, noting that most of them had denied their charges.

He pointed out that there were children, less than three years of age, who were kept in jail along with their mothers.

Earlier this year, Iraqi authorities extradited four women and more than two dozen children from the families of Daesh militants to Russian officials.

“Iraq has handed over four women and 27 children from the families of those who have been brainwashed to join Daesh,” Arabic-language al-Sumaria television network quoted Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Mahjoub as saying on February 22.

“There was no proof that those extradited had been involved in terrorist operations against Iraqi civilians or security forces,” he said, adding, “They will be prosecuted in Russia for illegally entering Iraq.”

According to a report published by Iraq’s Arabic-language al-Mashriq newspaper, more than 1,500 women and children from the families of Daesh militants are currently being held in the conflict-stricken Arab country, and that the Baghdad government is coordinating with their respective countries to decide their fate.

Former Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi declared the end of military operations against Daesh in the Arab country on December 9, 2017.

On July 10 that year, he had formally declared victory over Daesh in Mosul, which served as the terrorists’ main urban stronghold in Iraq.

In the run-up to Mosul’s liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters had made sweeping gains against Daesh.

Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January 2017 after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19 last year.

Daesh began a terror campaign in Iraq in 2014, overrunning vast swathes in lightning attacks.

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