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Jennifer W. and others

27.07.2020
TRIAL International reminds its users that any person charged by national or international authorities is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

FACTS

In August 2014, Jennifer W. left Germany for Iraq and joined ISIS there. In the period between June and September 2015, she allegedly conducted the so-called daily “moral patrols” in ISIS-occupied Fallujah and Mosul by inspecting whether women’s behavior and clothing complied with the rules set by ISIS. While conducting such patrols, Jennifer W. reportedly carried various lethal weapons with her. For this, she allegedly received remuneration from ISIS.

Jennifer W. shared a household with her spouse, Taha A.-J., who allegedly joined ISIS in 2013. In summer 2015, Taha A.-J. reportedly purchased a woman and her five-year old daughter from a group of Yazidis taken captive by ISIS. Taha A.-J. brought the woman and her daughter to his house. Taha A.-J. and Jennifer W. allegedly kept the Yazidi woman and her daughter captive as slaves and exposed them to inhuman living conditions. Taha A.-J. is suspected of having prohibited the Yazidi woman and her daughter from exercising their religion and forced them to convert to Islam. In order to punish the captives, Taha A.-J. allegedly beat them severely and repeatedly. To punish the five-year old, Taha A.-J. is suspected of chaining her outdoors in scorching heat, which subsequently led to the child’s death. Jennifer W. reportedly witnessed her husband’s acts and did not undertake any steps to prevent the death of the child.

 

LEGAL PROCEDURE

In 2019, the investigation regarding the crimes committed by ISIS against the Yazidi community in Syria and Iraq led to arrests, formal indictments and trials against several former members of ISIS based on accusations of crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide and other crimes.

On 9 April 2019, the trial of a German national, Jennifer W., started before the Higher Regional Court of Munich, based on a formal indictment of 13 December 2018. Jennifer W. is inter alia accused of a war crime for the killing of a fiveyear old Yazidi child, taken captive and enslaved with her mother, by Jennifer W. and her husband Taha A.-J., an Iraqi national.

On 18 April 2019, the German Federal Court of Justice issued an arrest warrant against Taha A.-J. Following his arrest in May 2019 in Greece, he was extradited to Germany on 9 October 2019. The arrest warrant was based on a strong suspicion that as a member of ISIS he committed crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes against the Yazidi mother and daughter. He was indicted in early 2020.

The trial against Jennifer W. will continue in 2020. In addition to the original charges, the Court is considering including charges of crimes against humanity.

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