German woman convicted of joining Islamic State, holding Yazidi slaves

A German-Algerian woman was convicted Wednesday of membership in the Islamic State group and of holding Yazidi women as slaves in Syria after she traveled there as a teenager. She was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison. 

The state court in Duesseldorf announced its verdict against the 23-year-old defendant, identified only as Sarah O. in line with German privacy rules, after a trial held behind closed doors because some of the offenses were committed when she was a minor. 

The court said she went to Syria in November 2013 and joined IS, and shortly afterward married a member of the group. It said she temporarily housed new members and tried to persuade others to come to Syria to join the group. 

She and her husband held five Yazidi women and two girls as slaves, the court said. Three of the women joined the trial as co-plaintiffs, as permitted under German law. Judges found that the defendant's husband raped two of the women, with his wife's approval. 

Sarah O. was convicted under juvenile law of offenses including membership in a foreign terrorist organization, committing crimes against humanity and being an accessory to rape, and unlawful detention. 

Her parents-in-law, identified as Perihan S. and Ahmet S., were convicted of offenses including supporting a terrorist organization. They were given sentences of 4 1/2 years and 3 years respectively. The court found that they knew their sons had joined ISIS and Syria and helped them between 2013 and 2015 acquire military equipment.

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