ISIS judge selling birds, living free in Turkey despite ordering the death of two soldiers

A sharia judge for ISIS is on trial without arrest in Turkey, despite claims that he previously issued a fatwa for the burning of two Turkish soldiers in Syria, journalist İsmal Saymaz wrote on Sept. 17.

Duvar English

Jamal Abdul Tahman Alwi, an Islamic judge (known as qadi or kadi) for ISIS, is walking free in Turkey despite claims that he previously issued a fatwa for the burning of two Turkish soldiers in Syria, journalist İsmail Saymaz said in his column in Halk TV on Sept. 17.

Alwi currently lives in Turkey's southeastern province of Gaziantep and runs a shop in which pet birds are sold.

Saymaz said that Alwi was caught in Gaziantep on June 15, 2020 as a result of a denunciation although he had been living in the province for many years now.

Prosecutors launched a lawsuit against him at the Gaziantep 7th Heavy Penal Court on charges of being “an executive of the ISIS.” The prosecutors' indictment said that he served as an Islamic judge for ISIS between 2013-2016 and that allegations point out to him as having issued fatwas for the murder of several people, including two Turkish soldiers.

“According to the Turkish Police's 2017 intelligence report, Alwi, who is known as 'Cemal Alavi,' has served as an Islamic judge at the Sharia court for three years in Azez, when it was controlled by ISIS, and ordered fatwas for death penalties. The allegation was also confirmed by witnesses,” Saymaz said.

In 2016, ISIS had released a video showing two captured Turkish soldiers being burned to death. Reports later said that the soldiers were named Fethi Şahin and Sefter Taş.

The first hearing of the case against Alwi took place on Sept. 22, 2020, with his lawyer saying various Turkish media outlets had previously issued reports that he had had served as a deputy commander in the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

The court released Alwi on March 2, 2021, in less than a year after his arrest, citing “collection of all evidence, lack of probability of spoiling evidence, and the defendant's family and personal excuses.”

The court also imposed a house arrest and international travel ban on Alwi, but lifted these measures on June 26.

Saymaz pointed out that charges against Alwi do not yet include allegations of him having ordered the murder of Turkish soldiers, although there is an ongoing investigation with regards to the claims.

“You will ask, is he [Alwi] not on trial for involvement in the murder of two Turkish soldiers? There is an investigation in Kilis with regards to these murders, but it is ongoing since 2015. And a lawsuit has been yet launched. Alwi continues his life from he left off in Gaziantep,” Saymaz wrote.