The Netherlands and Belgium join international investigation into crimes against Yazidis in Syria and Iraq

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Netherlands and Belgium have joined an international investigation into atrocities against the Yazidi minority in Syria and Iraq, the European Union’s Judicial Cooperation Agency announced Monday. .

The Joint Investigation Team was established by France and Sweden in October 2021 and supported by The Hague-based Eurojust to identify and prosecute foreign extremists who targeted Yazidis during the armed conflict in Syria and Iraq. .

Eurojust said the teamwork has already paid off, including in France, where a Yazidi victim of a French jihadist couple has been identified. This led to the addition of genocide and crimes against humanity charges to an existing case.

The joint investigative team is part of a wider international effort to bring justice for atrocities targeting Yazidis, a minority considered heretical by the Islamic State militant group.

A United Nations investigation concluded in 2021 that crimes committed against Yazidis by Islamic State extremists constituted genocide.

IS attacked the heart of the Yazidi community at the foot of Mount Sinjar in August 2014. During the weeklong assault, IS killed hundreds of Yazidis and abducted 6,417 people, including more than half were women and girls. Most of the adult males captured were probably eventually killed. Women and girls were considered commodities for rape and servitude.

Prosecutions of returning foreign activists for crimes against Yazidis are already underway in Europe.

A German woman was convicted last week of keeping a Yazidi woman as a slave while she was with the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, and sentenced to nine years and three months in prison.

The state court in the western city of Koblenz convicted the 37-year-old woman of crimes against humanity, membership of a foreign terrorist organization and complicity in genocide, the news agency reported. German dpa. Authorities identified her only as Nadine K. in accordance with German confidentiality rules.

In February, Dutch authorities announced they were prosecuting a woman who had traveled from the Netherlands to join ISIS on charges of slavery as a crime against humanity. The woman allegedly used a Yazidi woman as a slave in Syria in 2015. The case marked the first trial in the Netherlands of a suspected ISIS member for crimes against a Yazidi victim.

Leave a Comment