Amal Clooney has secured justice for a Yazidi woman who was raped at the age of 14 after being enslaved by ISIS in Syria.
Clooney represented the woman as one of three victims of an ISIS wife named only Sarah O, who was jailed for six and a half years in Düsseldorf on Wednesday.
The 23-year-old Algerian woman traveled to Syria as a teenager in 2013 where she married a German-Turkish national by the name of Ismail S., still at large.
From 2015, the couple began enslaving Yazidi women and girls who were kidnapped by marauding ISIS fighters and sold throughout the “caliphate”.
The Yazidi ethnic group, which is mainly based in Iraq, have faced genocidal persecution from the Islamic State which claims to be a race of “devil worshipers”.
Amal Clooney is pictured at the United Nations Security Council at a meeting on sexual violence in conflict in New York City in April 2019
For two years, Sarah O. and Ismail S. enslaved seven Yazidi women, some of whom were sold to others, while another, a 14-year-old girl, died in captivity.
Sarah O. beat the prisoners and helped her husband sexually abuse at least two of the victims, helping them “prepare” them for rape.
She also forced the Yazidis to do slave labor in her home.
The couple were arrested in Turkey in February 2018. After seven months in detention, Sarah O. was deported to Germany and her trial began in October 2019.
Debates were closed to the public as she was a teenager when some of the events took place. In accordance with German law, his full name was also not disclosed.
The victim represented by Clooney, along with her German colleagues Natalie von Wistinghausen and Sonka Mehner, was in Düsseldorf on Wednesday when the judges announced the verdict.
After the judgment, the victim said: “No conviction can make up for our suffering, but I am extremely grateful to the German federal prosecutors and the German court for investigating and shedding light on the crimes committed against the Yazidis and I hope that many other countries will follow this good example.
Sarah O. was found guilty of membership in a foreign terrorist organization, assault, deprivation of liberty, aiding and abetting rape, slavery and religious and gender persecution as crimes against humanity.
Clooney’s German colleague Sonka Mehner said: “Thanks to the victims, the full extent of the accused’s criminal conduct has been established. ”
George Clooney and his wife Amal Clooney attend the “Money Monster” premiere at the 69th Cannes Film Festival 2016
The other German lawyer representing the Yazidi woman, Natalie von Wistinghausen, added that “for the first time a court has handed down a conviction for religious and gender persecution and this recognition is of the utmost importance to our client and to all Yazidi women. , for their religious community as a whole, as well as for other victims of gender-based violence. ‘
Clooney, the wife of Hollywood actor George, 43, is a lawyer specializing in international criminal law and human rights.
She was admitted to the London Bar in 2010 after being admitted to New York in 2002.
Fluent in French and Arabic, she worked in The Hague, notably at the International Court of Justice.
In addition to her legal work, she was senior advisor to Kofi Annan when he was the UN envoy to Syria.