BAGHDAD, May 26 (CGTN) -- On Sunday, three French citizens were sentenced to death by a Baghdad court after they were found guilty of joining the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
As the first French ISIL members to receive death sentences in Iraq, they were handed over by the American-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in January.
"They were sentenced to execution after it was proven that they were members of the terrorist Islamic State (ISIL) organization," one court official said.
Named as Kevin Gonot, Leonard Lopez and Salim Machou, they have 30 days to appeal.
"All three convicted Frenchmen rejected the ruling and asked to be tried in France, but judges ignored their request," a court-appointed lawyer said.
The French government has so far refused to take back ISIL fighters and their wives. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian referred to them as "enemies" of the nation, saying they should face justice either in Syria or Iraq.
France had earlier agreed to repatriate the children of ISIL fighters on a case-by-case basis.
Those sentenced on Sunday were among 12 French citizens who were caught in Syria and transferred to Iraqi custody in February.
Multiple attacks in Paris, Brussels and elsewhere in 2015 and 2016 were connected to people suspected of having fought for ISIL. In France alone, more than 230 people have been killed in ISIL-linked attacks since 2015.
Many European countries have been reluctant to take their citizens back.