Did a woman from Lower Saxony in Iraq watch a little Yezidi girl chained to death in the midday sun? The terrorist process against them is now on the home stretch.
[Munich -] It has become a mammoth trial: Around two and a half years after the trial began, the trial against IS returnees and terrorist suspect Jennifer W. is on the home straight.
The Higher Regional Court will have to decide whether the young woman from Lohne in Lower Saxony will be convicted of murder by omission, membership in a terrorist organization and war crimes. For this Monday, the court expects – if no more motions from the defense intervene – the pleading of the federal prosecutor’s office.
Jennifer W. had been silent for almost two years, and in March of this year she first commented on the gruesome allegations: she admitted membership in a terrorist organization. And also on the terrible suspicion that she had watched a little Yazidi girl die of thirst in the blazing sun at 45 degrees in the Iraqi Fallujah, she commented in a personal statement after the child’s mother had previously testified as the most important witness.
The little girl belonged to the Yazidis religious community, which is systematically persecuted by the Islamic State (IS). The child is said to have been bought from a group of Yazidi prisoners of war and kept as a slave. According to the prosecution, the five-year-old was sick and had gone to bed. Being chained in the sun was the punishment for that. Jennifer W. stated in court that she wanted to help the girl, but did not dare because of her husband, who was brought to trial in Frankfurt because of the allegations.
The trial against Jennifer W. made headlines at the beginning of April 2019, also because an extremely prominent lawyer initially played a central role: the human rights expert Amal Clooney, who represents the co-plaintiff and mother of the girl who was killed, but never appeared in court in Munich. Before the trial, she issued a joint statement from the secondary prosecution and the Yazidi organization Yazda: “Yazidi victims have been waiting far too long for their opportunity to testify in court.”
According to Yazda, the Munich trial was the world’s first indictment of crimes by ISIS members against the Yazidis religious minority. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Yezidis Nadia Murad called the trial a great moment and an important process for all Yezidi survivors. [dpa]