A little girl died of thirst in northern Iraq in the summer of 2015. Because she was a Yazidi. What was obvious to many has now been confirmed by the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court – and the IS terrorist Taha Al-J. has been sentenced to life imprisonment. The Iraqi was guilty of genocide and a war crime resulting in death.
The judges’ decision was without alternative. The guilty verdict will not bring back the five-year-old child who was chained to a window grille in scorching heat. But it makes it clear that the genocide of the Yazidi people can and should be punished even beyond national borders according to the so-called principle of international law in the International Criminal Code.
The fact that Al-J. is supposed to pay the girl’s mother 50,000 euros in damages must feel like a mockery to her. 50,000 euros for the death of her child. But this is only a symbolic amount. Another aspect will be groundbreaking: It is the first verdict worldwide for the crimes committed by the terrorist militia IS against the Yazidi minority.
Thousands of Yezidis have been murdered, abducted or displaced by IS in Iraq. Many perpetrators are still at large, while the people displaced are mourning the loss of their loved ones and struggling with severe trauma. For them, too, this verdict is a first relief. Yazidis around the world have been paying attention to this trial in Germany. The role of the West is difficult; it is partly to blame for the chaos in Iraq. But the verdict shows the victims that the suffering of their people will probably not go unpunished.These IS terrorists who systematically persecute the Yazidis have no business remaining in freedom. They must be brought to justice. Their wives, some of whom also travelled to Iraq from Germany to join the terrorist group, too.
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