IS returnee in Hamburg sentenced to three years in prison

Case files are in a courtroom. Thomas Frey/dpa/symbol image

A 38-year-old IS returnee in Hamburg has been sentenced to three years in prison – including for membership in a terrorist organization abroad. The verdict of the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court on Thursday was preceded by an agreement in which the German-Iranian was given the prospect of a sentence of between two and a half and three and a half years if she confessed, according to a court spokesman. Since the verdict is not yet final, the accused is still in custody.

In the summer of 2014, the woman traveled to Syria with her three-year-old daughter from her first marriage and her almost one-year-old son, where she and her husband joined the so-called Islamic State (IS). She testified that her husband was a fighter for the terrorist militia. The couple made their living from the wages that IS paid them.

When the daughter was taken along, the child was taken away from the father, who had joint custody and access rights, so that he had to live with great concern for the well-being of his daughter for a long time and the child was completely estranged from him, the judges ruled. In addition, the child was taught and brought up in an IS school in the sense of the terrorist militia. In doing so, the woman was also guilty of the severe confiscation of minors and the violation of her duty of care and upbringing.

The woman’s confession, which was based on insight and remorse, especially with regard to the endangerment of the children, had a positive effect on the sentence, said the spokesman. The accused also convincingly explained her inner rejection of IS. Also in her favor was taken into account that the woman spent almost four years under difficult conditions in a Kurdish prison camp. However, the fact that she had submitted to IS for years spoke against her.

The family fled IS territory in 2017 and was apprehended by Kurdish forces. When she returned to Germany in October 2021, the 38-year-old was arrested.

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