A German woman has been charged with war crimes, abetting genocide and enslaving a Yazidi woman after allegedly joining ISIS in Syria, it was revealed on Wednesday.
The accused, identified only as Nadine K, was said to have travelled to Syria with her husband in December 2014 and joined ISIS, German prosecutors said.
Months later, the couple and their daughter settled in Mosul in Iraq, where they allegedly hoarded an arsenal of weapons and set up a hostel providing room and board for “single female members” of ISIS.
“From early 2016, Nadine K and her husband kept a Yazidi woman as a slave,” German prosecutors said. “The man raped and beat the woman regularly, which Nadine K knew.”
They said she kept watch to prevent the woman from fleeing and forced her to do housework and care for children while observing Islamic rituals.
“All of this served the declared purpose of ISIS, to wipe out the Yazidi faith,” prosecutors said.
They are believed to have stayed there until March 2019, when Kurdish forces captured the accused and the Yazidi woman “regained her freedom”. The whereabouts of Nadine K were unknown until she was arrested in March with three other women entering the country at Frankfurt Airport, and was taken into custody.
The charges against her include crimes against humanity and membership of a foreign terrorist organisation. She is due to appear at the superior regional court in Koblenz at a later date.
A German court in November issued the first ruling worldwide to recognise crimes against the Yazidi community as genocide, in a verdict hailed by activists as a “historic” win for the minority.
Kurdish-speaking Yazidis from northern Iraq have for years been persecuted by ISIS militants who have killed hundreds of men, raped women and forcibly recruited children as fighters.
In May, a German woman who joined ISIS in Syria as a teenager was given a two-year suspended prison sentence but was later cleared by a court in Naumburg, central Germany, of aiding and abetting crimes against humanity.