German court charges IS returnee over alleged slave abuse
BERLIN (AP) — A German woman who allegedly abused a Yazidi slave while in Islamic State-held territory in Syria has been charged with crimes against humanity and other offenses, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
The woman, identified only as Jalda A. in keeping with German privacy laws, was arrested upon her arrival back in Germany on Oct. 7. Before her repatriation, she had been held captive by Kurdish forces since late 2017.
She was charged with membership in a foreign terrorist organization, crimes against humanity, war crimes and being an accessory to genocide, prosecutors said in a statement.
The suspect traveled in April 2014 via Turkey to Syria, according to prosecutors, where she quickly married an IS fighter and gave birth to a son the following year. When her first husband died, she married two other men in succession.
She lived with the third man in and near the Syrian city of Mayadin from September to October 2017, prosecutors said, adding that the husband kept a Yazidi woman as a slave and regularly raped her with the suspect’s knowledge.
The suspect also physically abused the woman “almost every day,” according to prosecutors. She allegedly punched and kicked the woman, pulled her hair, and slammed her head against the wall, and on one occasion hit the woman in the head with a flashlight.
In addition, prosecutors said, the suspect constantly watched the woman and repeatedly told her to pray according to Islamic custom, an act that “served the stated goal of the IS, to eradicate the Yazidi faith.”
The indictment was filed last month at the state court in Hamburg, which will have to decide whether and when to open a trial.