A German woman who joined the Islamic State (ISIS) stood trial last Thursday accused of the war crime of letting a 5-year-old Yazidi die of thirst under the sun.
The case against Jennifer W., 27, is believed to be the first anywhere in the world for international crimes committed by IS militants against members of the Yazidi minority.
The defendant faces life in jail if found guilty of committing murder and of murder as a war crime, as well membership in a terrorist organisation and violations of the German War Weapons Control Act.
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nadia Murad, herself a Yazidi survivor of IS enslavement and torture, said the Munich trial “is a very big moment for me, and for the entire Yazidi community”.
Prominent London-based human rights lawyer Amal Clooney is part of the team representing the dead Yazidi girl’s mother, but Clooney was not expected to appear in the Munich trial on Tuesday.
The defendant, identified only as Jennifer W., 27, faces life in jail if found guilty of committing a war crime, murder, membership in a terrorist organization and weapons offences.
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German prosecutors allege Jennifer W. and her IS husband had “purchased” the Yazidi child and her mother, a co-plaintiff in the trial, as household “slaves” whom they held captive while living in then IS-occupied Mosul, Iraq, in 2015.
“After the girl fell ill and wet her mattress, the husband of the accused chained her up outside as punishment and let the child die an agonising death of thirst in the scorching heat,” prosecutors charge.
“The accused allowed her husband to do so and did nothing to save the girl.”
German media said the defendant’s husband, Taha Sabah Noori Al-J., had beaten both the Yazidi mother and child, and that Jennifer W. allegedly also once held a pistol to the woman’s head.
The trial started under tight security in a Munich court that deals with state security and terrorism cases, with hearings initially scheduled until September 30th.
more at thelocal.de