Ezidi 24 – Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Netherlands Prosecution office will be indicting a female member of the Islamic State (IS, ISIS, Daesh) for the enslavement of a Yezidi. The case against Hasna A. will be heard in Rotterdam and is set to commence on 14 February. The Netherlands Parliament concluded in July 2021 that ISIS had committed genocide against the Yezidi community.
Several Yezidi organizations and activists, including the Free Yezidi Foundation, have worked with the Netherlands prosecution authorities to urge in-depth examination of the behavior of male and female Dutch nationals who joined ISIS. It is essential that survivors feel comfortable enough to come forward and share evidence with prosecution authorities, and that prosecutors work hard to collect enough evidence to successfully bring forth cases.
This is the first case in the Netherlands to judge atrocities committed by an ISIS member against a member of the Yezidi community, following several high-profile cases in Germany. Although there has been considerable delay, we nonetheless thank the Dutch prosecutors for opening this first case and helping to ensure that justice is done.
Pieter Omtzigt, member of the Netherlands Parliament and advocate for justice and accountability in the aftermath of the Yezidi Genocide, said: “This is good, but very late. A state under the rule of law can only be seen as such if it punishes the most horrific crimes, such as crimes against humanity and genocide. For too long, an image has been created in the Netherlands of ‘Caliphate girls’ who accidentally found themselves in the Caliphate. That defies reality. This trial is important, and the Netherlands will have to face the fact that Dutch nationals participated [in such crimes]. We cannot talk about crimes abroad if Dutch people who participated in them are not tried and punished.” Mr. Omtzigt also refers readers to the recent Council of Europe report on the atrocities committed by European ISIS members.
Simon Minks, member of FYF’s Advisory Board and Dutch public prosecutor, said: “The Dutch judiciary is prosecuting a woman who is suspected of having had a Yezidi as a slave. It is gratifying that, following in the footsteps of Germany, concrete attention for crimes against the Yezidi population can also be raised in a criminal case in the Netherlands. Let’s hope for justice so the fate of so many Yezidis is not forgotten.”
While FYF and other Yezidi organizations and activists applaud this step forward, much more remains to be done.