An ISIS fanatic who chained a five-year-old Yazidi girl in the sun and left her to die of thirst as punishment for bed-wetting collapsed in a German court today after being sentenced to life in prison for genocide.
Taha Al-Jumaili, who covered his face with a file in a Frankfurt court, died after being convicted of genocide, crimes against humanity that resulted in death, war crimes, aiding and abetting war crimes, and bodily harm resulting in death.
The 29-year-old Iraqi who joined the Islamic State in 2013, And his now ex-wife, a German woman named Jennifer Wenisch, ‘bought’ a Yazidi woman and her child as ‘household slaves’ while they were staying in ISIS-occupied Mosul in 2015.
They later moved to Fallujah, where Jumaili was accused of chaining the five-year-old girl to an outdoor window with the temperature rising to 50°C (122°F) as punishment for wetting her bed, which led to her death of thirst.
Jumaili’s life sentence for genocide against the Yazidi minority is the first in the world to use the term.
Taha Al-Jumaili, 29 (pictured with a file on his face) collapsed at Frankfurt Higher Regional Court today after being found guilty of genocide.
The Yazidis, a Kurdish-speaking group hailing from northern Iraq, has been persecuted for years by ISIS militants who have killed hundreds of men, raped women and forcibly recruited children as fighters.
In May, United Nations special investigators reported that they had collected “clear and convincing evidence” of the genocide perpetrated by the Islamic State against the Yazidis.
“This is a historic moment for the Yazidi community,” Natia Navruzov, a lawyer and member of the non-governmental organization Yazda, which collects evidence of crimes committed by ISIS against the Yazidis, told AFP.
“It is the first time in the history of the Yazidis that the perpetrator appears before a court on charges of genocide,” she said.
The 29-year-old (pictured) was sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, aiding and abetting war crimes and bodily harm with severe consequences.
Jumaili’s trial “sends a clear message,” according to Navruzov.
“It does not matter where the crimes were committed and it does not matter where the perpetrators are, thanks to universal jurisdiction, they cannot hide and will remain on trial.”
This comes after a Munich court last month sentenced Taha’s ex-wife to 10 years in prison in a separate trial for the war crime of letting a five-year-old Yazidi girl die of thirst in the sun.
Jennifer Wenisch, 30, from Lohne in Lower Saxony, was convicted of two “crimes against humanity in the form of enslavement”, as well as aiding and abetting the murder of the girl and being a member of a terrorist organization.
Winish converted to Islam in 2013 and made her way to Iraq to join the Islamic State, where she and her husband bought a Yazidi woman and her child as house slaves, according to the court.
“After the girl fell ill and wet her bed, the accused’s husband chained her outside as punishment and left the girl to die an excruciating death of thirst in the scorching heat,” prosecutors said during the trial.
“The accused allowed her husband to do so and did nothing to save the girl.”
Last month, Jumaili’s ex-wife Jennifer Winich, 30 (pictured) covered her face as she was escorted into a courtroom where she was sentenced to 10 years in prison for allowing a slave-girl to die of thirst in Iraq during a separate period. Experience
Her verdict by the Higher Regional Court in Munich was the culmination of what is believed to be one of the first convictions anywhere in the world in relation to the Islamic State’s persecution of the Yazidi community.
Presiding Judge Reinhold Baer rendered the verdict to Weinish, after declaring that the child was “armless and incapacitated before the situation,” and that Weinish should reckon from the outset that the child, who had been shackled in the heat of the sun, was in danger of death.
When asked during the trial about her failure to save the girl, Winich said she was “afraid” that her husband would “push or lock her up”.
The Yazidi girl’s mother is identified only by her first name Noura, and she has repeatedly testified in both Munich and Frankfurt about the alleged torment of her child.
The defense claimed that the mother’s testimony was not trustworthy, and said that there was no evidence that the girl, who was taken to hospital after the accident, was actually dead.
Winich’s lawyers had asked for her only two-year suspended prison sentence for her support of a terrorist organization.
Wenish was convicted of two “crimes against humanity relating to enslavement”, as well as aiding and abetting the murder of the girl and belonging to a terrorist organization.
Wenisch herself claimed she was “a role model in everything that happened under ISIS” at the conclusion of the trial, according to the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, and appeared to show remorse for the crimes she was convicted of.
Wenish converted to Islam in 2013 and is believed to have left Germany to join ISIS the following year, traveling through Turkey and Syria to reach her final destination, Mosul, in Iraq.
She was recruited in mid-2015 into the organization’s Al-Hisba morality police, and she patrolled city parks in Fallujah and ISIS-occupied Mosul.
Armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, a pistol and an explosive vest, her job was to ensure strict Islamic State rules regarding dress codes and public behavior and the prohibition of alcohol and tobacco.
In January 2016, she visited the German Embassy in Ankara to apply for new identity papers. When the expedition left, she was captured and delivered days later to Germany.
Winesh’s trial, which began in April 2019, is one of the first examples of court proceedings over the brutal treatment of the Yazidis by ISIS.
In a pre-sentencing hearing, Winnish’s lawyers called for her to get a two-year suspended prison sentence solely for supporting a terrorist organization.
A Kurdish-speaking group hailing from northern Iraq, the Yazidis have been specifically targeted and suppressed by jihadists beginning in 2015.
Prominent London human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, who campaigned for the recognition of ISIS’ crimes against the Yazidis as “genocide”, was part of the team representing the Yazidi girl’s mother.
Germany has accused many German nationals and foreigners of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity abroad, using the legal principle of universal jurisdiction that allows crimes to be prosecuted even if they were committed in a foreign country.
Among those who appeared in the dock were a handful of suspects.
In November 2020, a German woman named Norten J. was charged with crimes against humanity allegedly committed while she was living in Syria as a member of the Islamic State.
In October 2020, another German court sentenced the German-Tunisian wife of a rapper-turned-jihadi to three and a half years in prison for participating in the enslavement of a Yazidi girl in Syria.