German court convicts ex-ISIS member in Yazidi girl’s death

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BERLIN – A former member of the Islamic State group was convicted by a German court on Tuesday of committing a war crime over the massacre and death of a 5-year-old Yazidi girl he had bought as a slave and then chained in hot Was. Sun to die

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The Frankfurt regional court sentenced Taha al-Jay, an Iraqi citizen whose full surname was not released due to confidentiality rules, to life imprisonment and ordered him to pay 50,000 euros ($57,000) to the girl’s mother.

The German news agency DPA quoted the presiding judge, Christoph Koller, as saying it was the first worldwide genocide conviction over an individual’s role in the systematic persecution by ISIS of the Yazidi religious minority.


The defendants’ lawyers had denied the allegations leveled against their client.

His German wife was sentenced last month to 10 years in prison for the girl’s death.

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The girl’s mother, who escaped captivity, testified in both trials and participated as a co-plaintiff.

“This is the moment the Yazidis have been waiting for,” said lawyer Amal Clooney, who served as the mother’s lawyer. “To finally hear a judge, after seven years, declare that all they suffered was genocide. Seeing a man face justice for the murder of a Yazidi girl – because she was a Yazidi.”

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Zemfira Dlovani, a lawyer and member of Germany’s Central Council of Yezidis, also welcomed the decision.

“We can only hope that this will serve as a milestone for further cases,” she told the Associated Press, noting that thousands of Yazidi women were enslaved and accompanied by the Islamic State group. was abused. “It must be the beginning, not the end.”

The United Nations has called the ISIS attack on the Yazidis’ ancestral homeland in northern Iraq in 2014 a genocide, adding that the 400,000-strong community of Yazidis were “all displaced, captured or killed.” Of the thousands captured by ISIS, the boys were forced to fight for the extremists, the men were not converted to Islam – and were often executed in any case – and the women and girls into slavery. was sold.

According to German prosecutors, al-J. In 2015, a Yazidi woman and her 5-year-old daughter Reda were bought as slaves at an ISIS base in Syria. Both were captured and arrested by militants in the northern Iraqi city of Kocho in early August 2014. Already “sold and sold as slaves several times” by the group.

The defendant took the woman and her daughter to their home in the Iraqi city of Fallujah and forced them to “keep a home and live according to strict Islamic rules”, while giving them inadequate food and beating them regularly to punish. indictment

Prosecutors allege that in late 2015, Al-Jay. One day the girl was chained to the bars of a window in the open sun, where it reached 122 degrees, and she died from punishment. The punishment was allegedly given because the 5-year-old had wet the bed.

Al-J. Was arrested in Greece and extradited to Germany two years ago.

German authorities took the case under the principle of universal jurisdiction, which allows the country to try particularly serious crimes, even if they were committed elsewhere and have no direct connection to Germany.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad, herself a survivor of atrocities perpetrated by ISIS, said the verdict was “a victory for genocide survivors, survivors of sexual violence and the entire Yazidi community.”

“Germany is not only raising awareness of the need for justice, but is acting on it,” she said in a statement. “Their universal jurisdiction in this matter can and should be repeated by governments around the world.”

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