A coalition of Yazidi women filed a lawsuit against two top German government officials for failing to hold suspected German Islamic State fighters accountable for the genocide committed against Yazidis in Iraq and Syria.
The German news outlet Deutsche Welle reports that The Federation of the Yazidi Women’s Council has sued Justice Minister Katarina Barley and Interior Minister Horst Seehofer.
The advocacy association represents females from the religious minority community decimated by IS (also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh), which killed and sexually enslaved thousands upon thousands of Yazidis when it controlled swaths of territory in both countries.
The litigation was filed after the German government refused a request earlier this year from the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces to repatriate at least 61 captured Germans who traveled to Syria to join the terrorist group.
According to Deutsche Welle, the lawsuit accused Berlin of a “failure to accept the offer and to make possible the urgently necessary prosecution constitutes the crime of obstruction of punishment.”
The SDF, which is composed primarily of Kurdish, Arab, and Assyrian militias who serve as the official defense force of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, had previously accused the German government of “shirking” its responsibility to repatriate German IS militants so they could stand trial for war crimes.
However, DW notes that the Federal Prosecutor’s Office has issued arrest warrants for 21 suspected German IS fighters. The charges range from supporting a terrorist organization to war crimes.
The council also accused the German government of committing a “criminal offense of obstruction of justice” by refusing the offers of repatriation.
“The result of this refusal to transfer German nationals in the custody of the local administration in northern and eastern Syria … has delayed — if not prevented — punishment (from being doled out),” attorney Berthold Fresenius was quoted by public broadcasters as saying, according to DW.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith