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Iraq Sentences Ex-Wife Of IS Leader To Death For Yazidi Crimes

An Iraqi court has sentenced Asma Mohammed, also known as Umm Hudaifa, to death on Wednesday, for her involvement with the jihadi group Islamic State (IS) and detaining Yazidi women. Umm Hudaifa was married to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, IS’s former leader, during his control over parts of Iraq and Syria. She denied any involvement in […]

An Iraqi court has sentenced Asma Mohammed, also known as Umm Hudaifa, to death on Wednesday, for her involvement with the jihadi group Islamic State (IS) and detaining Yazidi women. Umm Hudaifa was married to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, IS’s former leader, during his control over parts of Iraq and Syria. She denied any involvement in IS’s crimes in a BBC interview.

After IS’s military defeat in 2019, Baghdadi killed himself and two of his children during a US raid in Syria. Umm Hudaifa, who was not present during the raid, had been arrested in Turkey in 2018 and was extradited to Iraq in early 2023.

UN investigators found evidence of IS committing genocide and other crimes against the Yazidi minority, who were forced to convert or be killed. Thousands of Yazidis were murdered, and many women and children were enslaved and abused. IS also committed war crimes, including the massacre of around 1,700 Shia Muslim cadets from Iraq’s Camp Speicher in 2014.

In her interview, Umm Hudaifa expressed regret over the Yazidi atrocities and claimed to have confronted her husband about the killings. She denied accusations of participating in the kidnapping and enslavement of Yazidi girls and women, despite lawsuits filed against her by Yazidi victims.

Iraqi courts have issued many death sentences and life terms for terrorism-related offenses. Human rights organizations criticize these trials as often being rushed, with broad charges based on confessions obtained under torture.

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Iraqiraqi courtTDGThe Daily GuardianYazidi crimes