Sweden urges Iraq to halt execution of two nationals convicted of killing gang leader

Sweden urges Iraq to halt execution of two nationals convicted of killing gang leader

Shafaq News/ The Swedish authorities are working to save two of their citizens who have been sentenced to death by an Iraqi court for the murder of a fellow gang member.

The Iraqi judiciary sentenced the two Swedish nationals to death after convicting them of killing Mustafa Al-Jubouri, a prominent leader of the Swedish-based Foxtrot gang. A third Swedish citizen received a three-year prison sentence.

According to the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, the trial was conducted in Iraq without notifying Swedish police or the families of the accused, who allege that the Iraqi authorities tortured them.

A Swedish news network reported that a relative of the 23-year-old sentenced to imprisonment claimed the individual suffered psychological and physical torture during detention to force a confession. “The detainee reportedly signed documents in Arabic, a language he cannot read or write.”

“There is no legal aid available there like in Sweden, and hiring a lawyer costs a lot of money,” the relative added, noting that one of the convicted individuals could not afford to hire a defense lawyer.

The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed to Aftonbladet that it had received information regarding the death sentences of two of its citizens in Iraq.

“We are working intensively to clarify the information,” the ministry said. “If the information is accurate, it is obviously very serious, and we will act swiftly to ensure that the sentence is not carried out.”

The ministry reiterated Sweden’s staunch opposition to the death penalty under any circumstances.

Mustafa Al-Jubouri, a prominent leader of the Foxtrot gang and an ally of Rawa Majid (the criminal gang leader,) was shot dead in Baghdad earlier this year. The Iraqi authorities arrested the three Swedes shortly after the murder.

The killing is suspected to be linked to an internal gang war between Rawa Majid and Ismail Abdo, which has resulted in numerous killings and attempted murders, some occurring outside Sweden.

Al-Jubouri, born in Baghdad in 1989, had longstanding ties with the Foxtrot criminal network in Sweden. Over the past six months, he played a central role in the gang’s internal conflict. When the feud between Rawa Majid and Ismail Abdo erupted in September, Al-Jubouri remained loyal to Majid.

Following the news of Al-Jubouri’s assassination in Baghdad, rival mafia figures celebrated — marking the death of “Benzema” in Iraq.

The murder on Monday in Baghdad is seen as an extension of the Foxtrot conflict, which shook Sweden with a series of violent incidents in Stockholm and Uppsala in the autumn of 2023.

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