German woman, who married 3 ISIS fighters in Syria, charged with war crimes over Yazidi slave abuse

Wednesday, 13 April 2022 (13:50 IST)
Federal prosecutors said on Tuesday that they have charged a German woman with several offenses including crimes against humanity after she alleged joined the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) in Syria.

Prosecutors said the woman, known as Jalda A. — in line with German privacy laws — had been charged with membership of a terrorist organization, war crimes, and being an accessory to genocide.

The charge of war crimes was brought against her in February.

The officials also said that the woman had lived with a man who kept a Kurdish Yazidi woman as a slave. Prosecutors said the defendant had physically abused the woman "almost every day."

Charges of physical abuse

Jalda A. is believed to have traveled to Syria via Turkey in 2014. Soon after, she married an IS fighter and gave birth to his son.

After he was killed she married a second and then a third man in succession.

It was the third husband who allegedly kept the Yazidi slave. Prosecutors said he regularly raped her with the suspect's knowledge.

The federal prosecutors claim she physically abused the Yazidi woman, punching and kicking her, pulling her hair, and slamming her head against the wall.

The suspect also forced the woman to pray in accordance with Islamic custom, even though she was Yazidi — an entirely different religious group. This "served the stated goal of the IS, to eradicate the Yazidi faith," the prosecutors said.

During this time, she allegedly supported her husband's activities in the extremist group. Prosecutors say she watched as IS engaged in public punishments and brutality, and even raised her son in the IS ideology.

Detained and under investigation

Jalda A. was held captive by Kurdish forces since late 2017 before being sent back to Germany in October last year.

Upon her return she was arrested and has been held under investigation since then.

Prosecutors brought the charges before a regional court in the northern German city of Hamburg. They are still going over the charges and will decide on the course of the prosecution.

Germany has already prosecuted several people for crimes committed in Syria, including both German citizens and people who fled to Germany.

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