Iraqi court convicts 47 Hashd al-Shaabi memebrs of charges including murderBy [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] [ltr]6 hours ago [/ltr]
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Members of the mainly Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi. AFP file photo.
BAGHDAD — Forty-seven members of the mainly Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitary were convicted for murder, kidnappings and possessions of weapons in Iraqi court, a top Iraqi judge announced.
Majid al-Aaraji, head of Iraq’s Central Criminal Court, said that their sentences ranged between the death penalty, life imprisonment and 15 years imprisonment.
The media office for the Iraqi court told Rudaw on Thursday that these cases did not all happen in 2016, but since the foundation of the paramilitary force in 2014.
"The Central Criminal Court issued verdicts against 47 defendants from the Hashd al-Shaabi after they were convicted of murder, kidnapping and possession of weapons," Aaraji told reporters in a press conference in Baghdad this week.
Amnesty International accused the paramilitary, also known as the Popular Mobilization Units, of human rights violations earlier this month.
“Since June 2014, Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) militias have extra-judicially executed or otherwise unlawfully killed, tortured and abducted thousands of men and boys,” Amnesty said.
Hashd al-Shaabi denied the accusations, accusing the rights organizations of having hidden agenda funded by foreign parties.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced in late October that his government does not tolerate human rights violations in battlefields.
“We will not allow violations of human rights,” he said via videoconference during an international meeting hosted in Paris to discuss the future of Mosul, two days before the launch of the offensive. “So we have set up investigation committees. We have brought some people to trial, some of them for violations of human rights during the course of battles.”
The PMU were created in June 2014 when Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani, Iraq’s highest Shiite religious authority, called for able-bodied men to join the fight against ISIS.
In December the Iraqi parliament approved a law recognizing Hashd al-Shaabi as an official force under the umbrella of the army.