Thursday, January 20

Life sentence in Germany for an Iraqi man for genocide against Yazidis


Berlin

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The reading of the sentence had to be suspended briefly because the convicted person, Taha al Jumailly, an Iraqi member of the jihadist organization Islamic State, fainted after hearing the words “life imprisonment.” The judges of the Frankfurt Regional Court considered his guilt sufficiently proven in “genocide and crimes against humanity and complicity in war crimes against the Yazidi minority”, thus establishing the first jurisprudence on crimes against this Kurdish minority, widely denounced by the UN.

“This is a historic moment for the community,” said Natia Navruzov, a lawyer and member of the NGO Yazda, which gathered the evidence provided in the trial, “because it is the first time in the history of the Yazidis that a criminal has been before a criminal. court on charges of genocide ”.

Taha Al-Jumailly enlisted in the ranks of Islamic State in 2013. According to the indictment, in the summer of 2015 and in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, Al-Jumailly let a five-year-old Yazidi girl die of thirst whose mother had ‘bought as a slave’ together with the little girl. This crime has played a central role in the trial, to which the girl’s mother, Nora B., an illiterate woman who speaks Kurmanyi, has come as a witness and has narrated the mistreatment to which the two were subjected in a manner systematic. On the day of her death, the five-year-old girl had urinated on the mattress on which she slept and, as punishment, Al-Jumailly tied her to the railing of a window, in the courtyard of the house, exposed to the sun already elevated temperatures without being allowed to drink water, or ingest any other liquid or food. For these same events, his ex-wife Jennifer Wenisch, 30 years old and present at the house, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in October for a “crime against humanity causing the death” of the girl.

Diaspora in Germany

The account of the witnesses begins to compose a puzzle to which other courts will surely continue to contribute pieces. Nora B. described how she was raped several times by Islamic State jihadists after they invaded her village on Mount Sinjar, in northwestern Iraq, in August 2014. The women were destined for sexual slavery, while hundreds of men were executed in the village square. His lawyer, the Lebanese-British Amal Clooney, leads together with the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nadia Murad, an international campaign to have this set of crimes recognized as genocide.

Germany, where a large Yazidi diaspora lives, has applied the legal principle of “universal jurisdiction” to prosecute these crimes committed outside its territory, but activists in the Yazidi cause now hope that the UN Security Council will turn to the Court International Criminal Court for the opening of a specific court.

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