DUSHANBE (TCA) — Five Tajik women have been sentenced to life in prison in Iraq after being found guilty of belonging to the extremist group Islamic State, RFE/RL’s Tajik Service reported.
Zubaidullo Zubaizoda, the Tajik ambassador to Iraq and Kuwait, told RFE/RL that the five were sentenced on January 31.
He said an official from the Tajik Embassy in Baghdad was present for the sentencing of Sadorat Qurbonova, Maftuna Majidova, Gulrukhsor Alieva, Gulbahor Saifulloeva, and her daughter Mahfuza Qurbonova.
According to Zubaizoda, the sentencing of another Tajik citizen, Maqsuda Jakhbarova, was postponed after Iraqi officials were unable to find an Uzbek translator for her.
It wasn’t the first such case in Iraq.
According to Tajik data, 43 Tajik women were sentenced to prison in Iraq in recent years after being found guilty of belonging to IS. Last year, 13 were handed sentences ranging from 20 years to life in prison.
According to Tajik officials, some 1,900 Tajik citizens have fought alongside IS militants in Syria and Iraq in recent years.
Earlier this week, Russia’s Sputnik news agency cited Russian Deputy Interior Minister Igor Zubov as saying that unidentified helicopters transported a large number of Daesh (Islamic State) terrorists from Pakistan to the border with Tajikistan, which is close to Russia’s southern borders.
Pakistan and Tajikistan are separated by Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor region.
Earlier, Russian Col. Gen. Andrey Novikov, the head of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Anti-Terrorism Centre, said that IS terrorists were being transported to Afghanistan and Pakistan after facing defeat in Syria and Iraq.