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A Munich court on Tuesday sentenced a German woman who was a member of the Islamic State group to 14 years in prison for allowing a 5-year-old Yazidi girl she and her husband kept as a slave in Iraq to die of thirst in the sun.
The decision replaced an earlier prison sentence of 10 years. A German appeals court had ordered a new sentencing hearing for the woman, who has been identified only as Jennifer W. in line with German privacy rules, after the country’s Federal Court of Justice threw out an appeal by the defendant but partly approved an appeal by prosecutors. It overturned the sentence, though not the rest of the verdict, and sent the case back to the Munich state court for a new decision.
The Munich state court convicted the 32-year-old of, among other things, enslavement resulting in death, and accused her of acting out of contempt for human life, German news agency dpa reported.
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Jennifer W., who enslaved a child in Iraq and watched her die of thirst, was sentenced to 14 years behind bars.
The woman from Lohne in Lower Saxony had previously confessed to watching the girl die in the summer of 2015. The girl and her mother were enslaved by the woman and her then-husband in their home in Iraq, and the man had chained the child in the blazing midday sun to punish her.
Among other things, the court pointed to the behavior of the woman after the death of the child. She had held a gun to the mother’s head to force her to stop crying, dpa reported. The court also considered the serious psychological consequences for the mother, which she suffers to this day.
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Jennifer W. was taken into custody while trying to renew her identity papers at the German Embassy in Ankara in 2016, and deported to Germany.
Her former husband, an Iraqi citizen who was identified only as Taha Al-J., was convicted by a Frankfurt court in November 2021 of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and bodily harm resulting in death. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.