For the first time in Germany, a court recognizes the massacre of the minority. Amal Clooney: A victory for those who believe in justice
The “Yazidi genocide” recognized in a courtroom. It happens in Frankfurt where an ISIS militant found guilty of causing the death by dehydration of a 5-year-old Yazidi girl, bought as a slave, was sentenced to life in prison, keeping her chained under the sun in punishment for hours in Falluja, in Iraq in 2015.
The convict, Taha Al-J. 29-year-old Iraqi, he was found guilty of genocide and war crimes. The proceedings were suspended when the defendant passed out in court at the reading of the verdict. The case has also caused a lot of discussion in relation to the story of the German foreign-fighter Jennifer W., at the time wife of Taha Al-J., Affiliated with Isis who returned to Germany from Iraq, sentenced for the same crime to ten years jailed by the Munich court last September. But from a legal point of view, the news is that, as the president of the judges himself, Christoph Koller recalled, this is the first case in the world to condemn the so-called Islamic State against the Yazidi minority.
The Yazidis, a Kurdish-speaking group from northern Iraq, have been persecuted for years by IS militiamen who have killed hundreds of men, raped women and forcibly recruited children as fighters. In May, UN special investigators announced they had gathered “clear and compelling evidence” of the IS genocide against the Yazidis. “This is a historic moment for the Yazidi community,” Natia Navrouzov, a lawyer and member of the NGO Yazda, which collects evidence of the crimes committed by the IS against the Yazidis, told AFP before the verdict.
The girl’s mother was represented by a team that included human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, at the forefront of the campaign to recognize the Yazidi genocide, along with former Yazidi slave and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia. Murad. Although Clooney did not travel to Munich or Frankfurt, she called Wenisch’s sentence “a victory for all who believe in justice”, adding that she hoped to see “a more concerted global effort to bring Isis to justice.” Murad asked the United Nations Security Council to refer cases concerning crimes against the Yazidis to the International Criminal Court or to create a specific tribunal for genocides committed against the community.
Germany, home to one of the largest Yazidi communities in the world, is one of the few countries to have taken legal action against such abuses. German courts have already handed down five sentences against women for crimes against humanity linked to the Yazidis committed in the territories occupied by Isis. Germany has accused several German and foreign citizens of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed abroad, using the legal principle of universal jurisdiction which allows the prosecution of crimes even if committed abroad. The trial of Al-Jumailly “sends a clear message,” according to Navrouzov. “No matter where the crimes were committed and no matter where the perpetrators are, thanks to universal jurisdiction, they cannot hide and will still be tried.”
November 30, 2021 (change November 30, 2021 | 17:10)
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