Iraqi IS sentenced to life for Yazidis “genocide”

Iraqi Taha Al-Jumailly, whose face is hidden by a filing cabinet, at the Franckfort-sur-le-Main court on November 30.

It’s a first. An Iraqi from the Islamic State (IS) organization was tried on Tuesday, November 30, by a German court, “Guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity resulting in death, war crimes and complicity in war crimes”, notably. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

This judgment promises to be historic for the recognition of the abuses committed by IS against this Kurdish-speaking community: it is, in fact, the first time in the world that a court has qualified these massacres as “Genocide”, after UN investigators. The reading of the verdict was interrupted just after the announcement of the sentence, the convict having passed out. She was able to resume after the intervention of rescuers.

Iraqi Taha Al-Jumailly, who joined ISIS in 2013, was convicted of having, in the summer of 2015, in Fallujah, Iraq, left a 5-year-old Yazidi girl to die of thirst that he had, like his mother, “Bought as a slave”, according to the prosecution. For this package, his ex-wife Jennifer Wenisch, 30, was already sentenced to ten years in prison last month for “Crime against humanity resulting in death” of the child.

This verdict was eagerly awaited by the now decimated community. “This is a historic day for humanity. The genocide of the Yazidis finally enters the history of international criminal law ”said Natia Navrouzov, lawyer and member of the NGO Yazda, which gathers evidence of crimes committed by IS against Yazidis. “We will ensure that more trials like this take place”, she added.

Nadia Murad, former ISIS sex slave and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner, praised “A victory for the survivors of the genocide, the survivors of sexual violence and the whole Yazidi community”.

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A campaign to recognize these crimes

The mother of the little girl, Nora B., told the bar the ordeal endured by her child, “Attached to a window” outside the house in high temperatures “Up to 50 ° C”, according to the prosecution. The Iraqi intended to punish the girl, to whom he was inflicting ill-treatment, for having urinated on a mattress. The illiterate mother, who sometimes speaks confusedly in Kurmandji, one of the Kurdish languages, claimed to have been repeatedly raped by ISIS jihadists in her village of Sinjar.

The Yazidi ethno-religious minority has been particularly persecuted by ISIS, which reduced women to sexual slaves and killed men by the hundreds after jihadists invaded the Sinjar massif in northwest Iraq , in August 2014.

The girl’s mother is represented by three lawyers, including the Lebanese-Briton Amal Clooney. She is leading – with the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad, a former ISIS sex slave from the same village as the victim – of a campaign to have these crimes recognized as genocide.

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The principle of “universal jurisdiction” applied

To try this Iraqi, arrested in Greece in 2019 on an international arrest warrant, Germany applies the principle of “universal jurisdiction”, which allows a state to prosecute the perpetrators of the most serious offenses, even when they have been committed. committed outside the national territory.

This trial therefore sends “A clear message: no matter where the crimes were committed and no matter where the perpetrators are, thanks to universal jurisdiction, they cannot hide”, insists Natia Navrouzov.

Germany, where a large Yazidi diaspora lives, is one of the few countries to have taken legal action against the abuses committed by ISIS against this minority. With this judgment, the German justice has already pronounced six convictions for crimes against humanity or complicity in crimes against humanity of men and women who had gone to the territories conquered by the IS, for acts in link with the Yazidis.

In May, a UN special investigation team announced that it had collected the “Clear and convincing evidence” that a genocide was committed by the jihadists against the Yazidis. Nadia Murad then called on the Security Council to seize the International Criminal Court or to create a specific tribunal for the “Genocide” committed against his community.

The World with AFP


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