German court convicts ISIS woman of crimes against humanity

A German court this week convicted a woman of crimes against humanity for her involvement in the enslavement of a Yazidi woman, lawyers for the prosecution announced on Friday. 

The 35-year-old woman, identified only as Nurten J, was sentenced to four years and three months in prison on several charges, including membership of a terrorist organisation, serious deprivation of liberty, and aiding and abetting crimes against humanity, according to a statement from the UK-based Doughty Street Chambers, which represents the Yazidi woman listed as a co-plaintiff. 

The defendant was said to have used the Yazidi woman, taken captive by the Islamic State (ISIS) following its offensive on the Iraqi district of Shingal in 2014, for slave labour on 50 occasions. She was arrested upon returning to Germany in July of last year. 

“There is no punishment that could atone for the injustice that has been done to the Yazidi community. For me, it is irrelevant whether the accused is in custody or will eventually be free again. The only thing that matters is that something like this never happens again,” said the Yazidi woman, who remained anonymous for safety reasons. 

The Yazidi ethno-religious minority suffered uniquely under ISIS, subject to a brutal genocide which saw more than 5,000 women and girls kidnapped to be used as sexual and domestic slaves. Thousands remain missing. 

Germany has pursued several cases against suspected ISIS members, particularly for their involvement in crimes against the Yazidis. A woman was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison in October for ISIS membership and enslaving a Yazidi child who later died of thirst. 

by Holly Johnston

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