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Germany arrests 'IS' suspects for enslaving Yazidi children

April 10, 2024

German police have arrested two Iraqis suspected of being "Islamic State" members for allegedly enslaving two Yazidi girls between 2015 and 2017. They were arrested in the southern state of Bavaria.

Yazidis hold signs at a candlelight vigil in Iraq, 2020
The minority Yazidi sect from faced persecution from 'IS' when the militant group was active in northern IraqImage: Safrin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images

German police on Wednesday arrested two suspected "IS" members accused of enslaving and abusing two young Yazidi girls between 2015 and 2017 in Iraq and Syria.

The suspects, an Iraqi couple, a man and a woman, were arrested in the city of Regensburg, and the district of Roth, in the southern state of Bavaria. 

Prosecutors said in a statement the young girls were physically abused, repeatedly raped and banned from practicing their religion.

The couple allegedly kept a five-year-old Yazidi girl as a slave starting in 2015 and a 12-year-old from October 2017.

"Furthermore, the suspects exploited the slaves economically by consistently coercing them into household work and childcare. They prohibited the girls from practising their own religion; instead, they had to follow the suspects’ instructions regarding Islamic prayers and belief," the statement read.

The couple handed the girls over to other IS members before leaving Syria in November 2017, prosecutors said in a statement.

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

Germany recognizes Yazidi 'genocide'

The arrest of the married couple follows a resolution by the German parliament last year that recognizes crimes committed by IS against  Iraq's Yazidi community as genocide.

The Yazidis, a Kurdish-speaking minority, were persecuted by IS after the Islamist militant group overran large swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq beginning in 2014.

In 2021, Germany convicted a former IS member of genocide, marking the first time the acts of IS against the Yazidi community in northern Iraq were held to account.

Looking for kidnapped Yazidis

rm/wmr (Reuters, AFP, AP)