Germany’s top court has partially overturned the sentencing of a German woman involved in the death of a five-year-old Yazidi girl.
Jennifer Wenisch – who was a member of the Islamic State group – was jailed for 10 years in 2021 for her role in the girl’s death.
The country’s public prosecutor had argued this sentence was too lenient.
Wenisch and her husband, an IS fighter, had bought the girl and her mother as slaves.
In August 2015 the girl died after being chained up in the scorching sun.
Wenisch was judged to have committed a crime against humanity, having stood by when her husband left the girl to die of thirst. She denied the charge.
A Munich court found her guilty of being an accessory to murder, but ruled that her case was a less severe one.
Germany’s Federal Court of Justice disagreed that her crime had been less severe and the original sentence, nine years for death of a child resulting from slavery plus two-and-a-half years for membership of a terror group, to be served over 10 years, will now be reviewed.
Her husband, Iraqi jihadist Taha al-Jumailly, is serving a life sentence.
This case, for a crime which took place in the northern Iraqi city of Fallujah, was one of the first instances of an IS offence against the Yazidi community going to trial. The Yazidi, a Kurdish group from northern Iraq, were a particular target of IS brutality.
In 2014 IS fighters stormed into the ancestral heartland of the Yazidi people in northern Iraq, seizing thousands of women and children as slaves.
Wenisch allegedly served in an IS “anti-vice squad” which enforced strict Islamic rules in Mosul and Fallujah.
She stood trial in Germany because of the legal principle of universal jurisdiction, which allows prosecutions for alleged war crimes, including genocide, which took place in other countries. London-based human rights lawyer Amal Clooney was part of the legal team representing the girl’s mother.