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Newstalk

15.54 9 Apr 2019


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A German woman who allegedly joined Islamic State has gone on trial accused of letting a five-year-old Yazidi girl she kept as a slave die of thirst while chained outside in the "scorching heat".

The 27-year-old, identified as Jennifer W, is charged with murder, committing a war crime, membership of a terrorist organisation and weapons offences.

Prosecutors say she converted to Islam in 2013 and travelled to Iraq and joined IS in 2014.

They allege she and her husband, Taha Sabah Noori Al-J, belonged to the IS "morality police", responsible for enforcing strict rules on behaviour, dress code and bans on alcohol and tobacco.

Prosecutors say the pair bought the Yazidi girl and her mother as household slaves in 2015 in then IS-occupied Mosul.

Prominent human rights lawyer Amal Clooney is part of the team representing the dead child's mother, but was not in court for the opening day of the Munich trial.

"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 alleged.

"The accused allowed her husband to do so and did nothing to save the girl."

Months after the youngster died, Jennifer W went to the German embassy in the Turkish capital Ankara to apply for new identity papers.

She was arrested by Turkish security services and extradited several days later to Germany where she was allowed to return to her home in Lower Saxony.

She sought to return to Iraq, and according to German newspaper Der Spiegel, an FBI informant posed as an accomplice and offered to take her back in a bugged vehicle.

It is alleged she spoke of the child's death during the journey, and she was arrested.

According to Yazda, a US-based Yazidi rights organisation, the case is believed to be the first prosecution of international crimes committed by IS militants against the religious minority group.

Yazidis are a distinct community of people who practise a religion that has its roots in Sufism and Zoroastrianism.

Main image: 27-year-old German Jennifer W (centre) covers her face as she arrives at a court in Munich | Image: Peter Kneffel/AP/Press Association Images


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Amal Clooney Germany IS Iraq Islamic State Jennifer W Munich Slave Girl Taha Sabah Noori Al-J Yazidi Girl

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