A Girl Allegedly Died an ISIS Slave. Now, a Woman on Trial

Jennifer W. faces murder and war crimes charges against member of Yazidi minority
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2019 9:28 AM CDT
A Girl Allegedly Died an ISIS Slave. Now, a Woman on Trial
27-year-old German Jennifer W. covers her face as she arrives at a court in Munich, southern Germany, Tuesday, April 9, 2019. The woman is accused of letting a 5-year-old girl she and her husband held as a slave in Islamic State-held territory in Iraq die of thirst.   (Peter Kneffel/dpa via AP)

A German court on Tuesday saw the start of a major case: what is being called one of the most prominent ones against a female ISIS member, and what the AFP reports may be the first ever in which an ISIS member is accused of war crimes against the Yazidi minority. The German woman, which per the country's privacy laws is identified as Jennifer W., is charged with murder, war crimes, membership in a foreign terror group, and weapons violations. Prosecutors allege the 27-year-old and her husband in 2015 bought a 5-year-old Yazidi girl to keep as a slave when they lived in Mosul, Iraq, and that the girl ultimately suffered a brutal death. Per prosecutors, "after the girl fell ill and wet her mattress, the defendant's husband punished the girl by chaining her up outside in the searing heat and leaving her in great agony to die of thirst." Jennifer W. did not intervene.

His whereabouts are unknown, though he's thought to be in the Iraq-Turkey border area. As for how Jennifer W. came to stand trial, desperation and loose lips, per the New York Times. She was extradited to Germany in 2016 after seeking new identity papers from the German embassy in Turkey. Determined to get back to ISIS, she subsequently hired a driver to take her to the Middle East. Unbeknownst to her, the driver was working with authorities and the car was bugged; their discussions were recorded. The charges carry a maximum sentence of life. The Yazidi girl's mother, who counts Amal Clooney among her lawyers, is expected to testify; she was allegedly also kept as a slave by the pair. CNN reports the trial will pick up again on April 29. (More ISIS stories.)

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