German court jails ISIL member for life over Yazidi genocide

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The Frankfurt Court ruled in the death of a five-year-old girl bought as a slave and left to die in the sun.

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A German court sentenced a former member of the ISIL group to life in prison after pleading guilty to committing genocide against Iraq’s minority Yazidi community.

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The case involved the death of a five-year-old girl whom he had bought as a slave and then chained to death in the hot sun.

A Frankfurt regional court sentenced 29-year-old Iraqi national Taha al-Jumaili during a hearing on Tuesday and ordered him to pay 50,000 euros ($57,000) to the girl’s mother.

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He was found guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity, death, war crimes, aiding and abetting war crimes and death resulting from bodily harm after joining ISIL in 2013.

Lawyers for al-Jumaili have denied the charges leveled against their client, who was arrested in Greece and extradited to Germany two years ago.

In a separate trial, his wife, 30-year-old German national Jennifer Weinich, was sentenced in October to 10 years in prison for a “crime against humanity in the form of slavery”, and for helping and thwarting the Yazidi girl’s murder. was encouraged to do. offer help.

‘Historic’ conviction

The German news agency DPA quoted the presiding judge, Christoph Koller, as saying Tuesday’s sentence was the first for an individual’s role in the systematic persecution of the Yazidi religious minority, a Kurdish-speaking group by ISIL.

The United Nations has called the group’s 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 ISIL fighters, the boys were forced to fight for the group, the men were not converted to Islam – and were often executed in any case – and the women and girls were sold into slavery. was given.

Germany, home to a large Yazidi community, is one of the few countries that has taken legal action on such abuse using the legal principle of universal jurisdiction, which allows the prosecution of crimes committed in a foreign country. Is.

Natia Navrozov, a lawyer and member of the NGO Yazda, which collects evidence of crimes committed by ISIL against Yazidis, told AFP news agency after Frankfurt: “This is the result that every Yazidi and all genocide survivors hope to see.” Was doing.” Regional court’s decision.

“Today is a historic day for humanity and the Yazidi genocide finally enters the history of international criminal law. We will ensure that there are more such tests,” she said.

bought mother and daughter as slaves

According to German prosecutors, al-Jumaili bought a Yazidi woman and her five-year-old daughter as slaves at an ISIL base in Syria in 2015.

Both were taken captive in northern Iraq in early August 2014 and were “sold and sold several times as slaves” by the group.

Al-Jumaili later 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 regularly punishing them. Beaten up. in respect of the charges leveled against him.

In late 2015, al-Jumaili chained the girl to the bars of a window in the open sun, the day it reached 50 °C (122 Fahrenheit), and died, prosecutors said. The punishment was allegedly given because the five-year-old had wet the bed.

The girl’s mother, who escaped from captivity, testified about the suffering inflicted on her daughter during the trials of al-Jumaili and the Venish.

Identified only by her maiden name Nora, the mother was represented by a team including Amal Clooney, a London-based human rights lawyer who has been at the forefront of a campaign for ISIL crimes against Yazidis, with former Yezidis, characterized as genocide. has been recognized in. Ghulam and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad.

Murad called on the UN Security Council to refer cases related to crimes against Yazidis to the International Criminal Court or to create a specific tribunal for genocide committed against the community.

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