Life sentence for IS fighter in Germany for genocide against Yazidi minority

A former IS fighter from Iraq has been sentenced in Germany to life in prison for involvement in genocide against the Yazidis. He has also been convicted of the murder of a 5-year-old Yazidi girl. It is the first time that anyone has been found guilty of genocide against the Yazidi, an ethnic and religious minority group mainly living in northern Iraq.

“This is the moment Yazidis have been waiting for,” lawyer Amal Clooney, who represents the girl’s mother, said of the ruling. “To finally hear a judge say after seven years that what happened was genocide. And to see a man being tried for murdering a Yazidi girl because she was Yazidi.”


In 2015, Taha Al-Jumailly, now 29, bought a Yazidi woman and her child in Iraq together with his German ex-wife. The couple kept them as slaves. Because the girl is said to have wet the bed, he tied her up in a courtyard as punishment. There he let the toddler die of thirst in the blazing sun.

His ex-wife, Jennifer W., was born in Munich last month ten years in prison convicted for watching her husband kill the girl. The girl’s mother, who survived captivity, was a witness in both lawsuits.

reign of terror

Al-Jumailly is said to have joined the Islamic State terrorist organization in 2013. The Frankfurt judge found him guilty of involvement in the deaths of more than 3,000 Yazidis and enslavement of 7,000 Yazidi women and girls. That happened in 2014 and 2015 when the terrorist group ISIS conducted a reign of terror in parts of Syria and Iraq.

The man was arrested in Greece in 2019 and extradited to Germany. “Today’s ruling is the first-ever worldwide confirmation by a court that the crimes committed by IS against the Yazidi minority are genocide,” said Meike Olszak of the German branch of human rights organization Amnesty International.


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