Middle East/North Africa

ISIS bride convicted in Germany of 'crimes against humanity'

A German court has convicted the wife of an ISIS fighter for "crimes against humanity and attempted war crimes" in the death of a 5-year-old Yazidi girl, The Washington Post reports.

Jennifer Wenisch, a 30-year-old German citizen, has been sentenced to 10 years in jail after a Munich court ruled that she did not intervene when her husband left the girl chained in the desert heat to die of thirst, the Post said.

Wenisch travelled to Syria in 2014 to join ISIS and later married Iraqi national and ISIS fighter Taha al-Jumailly.

The Post reported that Wenisch and her husband bought the child and her mother as domestic slaves to take care of their house in Fallujah in 2015. 

 

After the child fell ill and wet the bed, Wenisch's husband chained her in the hot sun outside their home and left her to die of thirst. 

 

The child's mother testified at the trial for over 11 days and recalled being "forced to witness the child's death."

Wenisch told the court that she was "afraid" that her husband would "lock her up" if she tried to save the girl.

Her husband is currently on trial in Frankfurt and is awaiting his own verdict, the BBC added.

The court said Wenisch, as a member of ISIS, assisted in the "destruction of the Yazidi religion" and "enslavement of the Yazidi people."

According to the BBC, Wenisch was allowed to stand trial in Germany "because of the legal principle of universal jurisdiction, which allows prosecutions for alleged war crimes, including genocide, occurring overseas."

 

This case is one of the first trials to prosecute a war crime against the Yazidi community. 

"This conviction will mean a lot to ISIS survivors especially the ones who have shared their statements with us in the hope that they will see justice one day. It is also very encouraging for our organisation that has been tirelessly collecting evidence since the first months of the Yazidi genocide," Natia Navrouzov, legal advocacy director at the global Yazidi non-governmmental organization Yazda, told Agence France-Presse.

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