BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A Belgian court on Monday handed out prison sentences to seven women for supporting Islamic State and radicalizing young women to go to Syria to join its ranks and marry fighters of the militant organization.
Four of the seven women - five Belgians, one Dutch and one Moroccan - were not in court to hear their convictions and were believed to be in Syria with female battalions of Islamic State, the Antwerp-based court said.
In their absence, they were given five-year prison sentences for their activities with those battalions, including patrolling and guarding entrances to towns and cities in Syria.
The women present in court were guilty of facilitating the departure of Islamic State recruits and collecting money for organizations aiming to radicalize young girls. They received prison sentences of between 20 and 30 months.
In February, 45 men belonging to radical Islamist group Sharia4Belgium stood trial, accused of being part of a terrorist organization. The head of the group received a 12-year prison sentence.
Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Philip Blenkinsop and Tom Heneghan