Netherlands takes steps to prosecute crimes against Yazidis

Hasna Aarab, a Dutch woman hailing from the town of Hengelo in the east of the Netherlands, was among those repatriated. She was primarily held for travelling to Syria with her four-year-old son in 2015 to marry a Moroccan ISIL fighter, according to Dutch prosecutors.

They also plan to prosecute her for enslaving a Yazidi woman, which is considered a crime against humanity.

A district court in The Hague began hearing Aarab’s case in February. Since then, Dutch prosecutors have been investigating the matter, which is still in the pre-trial phase.

“So far in this case, Hasna A, hasn’t come to court, but she has been represented by her lawyers, who said that she had a Yazidi woman living in the house, but did not work for her. So, they said Hasna A has not enslaved a Yazidi,” Brechtje van de Moosdijk, spokesperson of the Dutch Public Prosecution Service, told Al Jazeera.

Moosdijk said Aarab along with the other women have been held in a women’s prison in the east of the country.

With this case, the Netherlands has become the second European country after Germany to prosecute crimes against Yazidis.

For centuries, the Yazidis have been persecuted for their religious beliefs by the Ottomans, Arabs and most recently, ISIL.



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