2 Alleged Iraqi Militants Arrested In Germany, Accused Of Keeping Yazidi Girls As Slaves

BERLIN (AP) — Two Iraqis accused of being members of the Islamic State group and keeping two young Yazidi girls as slaves as well as sexually and physically abusing them have been arrested in Germany, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The man and the woman, identified only as Twana H.S. and Asia R.A. in line with German privacy rules, were arrested in Bavaria on Tuesday, federal prosecutors said in a statement. They are accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, along with membership in a terrorist organization.

The suspects were married and were members of IS in Iraq and Syria between October 2015 and December 2017, prosecutors said. They allegedly kept a five-year-old Yazidi girl as a slave starting in late 2015 and a 12-year-old from October 2017.

Prosecutors allege that the man raped both girls repeatedly and that the woman prepared the room and put make-up on one of the girls.

The couple also exerted “harsh physical violence” on the girls, who were prevented from practising their own religion and coerced into household work and childcare, prosecutors said. The man on one occasion allegedly hit the older girl with a broomstick, the woman is accused of scalding the younger girl's hand with hot water and both children were repeatedly forced to stand on one leg for half an hour as punishment.

Before they left Syria in November 2017, the suspects handed the girls over to other members of IS, prosecutors added.

"All of this served the organization’s objective to destroy the Yazidi religion,” their statement said.

Justice Minister Marco Buschmann welcomed the arrests. “The promise of the principle of universal jurisdiction is clear: impunity for the genocide against the Yazidis must be fought worldwide,” he said.

Last month, a German federal court rejected an appeal by a German convert to Islam against her 14-year sentence for allowing a 5-year-old Yazidi girl she and her husband enslaved when they were IS members in Iraq to die of thirst in the sun.

Her former husband, an Iraqi citizen, was convicted in November 2021 and sentenced to life imprisonment.