Courts in Finland handed suspended sentences of 16 and 13 months respectively to an Iraqi Shi’ite militiaman and an Iraqi army sergeant on Wednesday for posting images of themselves holding severed heads of enemy fighters on Facebook.
The two were arrested after arriving in Finland last year and were charged with war crimes involving desecration of bodies in incidents in 2014 and 2015 in Iraq, where Iraqi government forces are embroiled in war with Islamic State (IS) militants.
At trials in two separate district courts, the defendants admitted posting the pictures online but denied involvement in the deaths of the decapitated fighters.
“One of the men said he was pictured with remains of an (Islamic State) suicide bomber. The other said the picture was of an enemy combatant who had died during a battle,” said Juha-Mikko Hamalainen, the Helsinki district prosecutor in charge.
“The charges were based on the evidence we had. We have not prosecuted similar cases in Finland before, so the verdicts set a necessary precedent for the future.” Read more