World’s first judgment on crime of genocide against the Yazidis

In the world’s first criminal trial addressing genocide against the Yazidis, today the Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt, Germany, convicted Taha Al J. for genocide and crimes against humanity. This is the first time a former member of the armed group calling itself Islamic State (IS) has been convicted of genocide.

The defendant Taha Al J. was convicted of genocide for purchasing a Yazidi woman and her five-year-old daughter as slaves in 2015. The Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt held that Taha Al J. — as a member of IS — intended to eliminate the religious minority of the Yazidis by purchasing the two Yazidi women and enslaving them. The defendant punished the Yazidi girl by cuffing her to a window in the scorching heat, unprotected from the sun and letting her die in front of her mother. Taha Al J. was therefore found guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The trial of Taha Al J. in Frankfurt began in April 2020. The German International Criminal Law coordination group was monitoring the proceedings before the Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt from the very beginning.

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