Slavery: what does the ex-wife of an Islamic State emir indicted in France for crimes against humanity risk ?

Slavery: what does the ex-wife of an Islamic State emir indicted in France for crimes against humanity risk ?

The former wife of an emir of the Islamic State group was indicted on March 14, 2024 in France for crimes against humanity and genocide (illustrative photo). Klaus Stei – imageBROKER

Sonia M., returnee from Syria and former wife of an emir of the Islamic State group, was indicted on March 14 in France for crimes against humanity and genocide. She is suspected of having enslaved a Yazidi teenager in Syria.

The civil party, now aged 25, was 16 when she was bought by Abdelnasser Benyoucef, alias "Abou Moutana", head of external operations of the ;rsquo;EI.

This man, currently the subject of an arrest warrant according to a source close to the investigation, was also sentenced in his absence in France for an aborted attack in 2015 in Villejuif, in the Paris suburbs.

According to elements of the investigation, revealed on Saturday by the daily Le Parisien and of which the AFP was aware, the Yezidi denounced daily abuse.

During a hearing last February, she claimed to have been held captive for more than a month in spring 2015 in Syria. She says that she could not drink, eat or shower without Sonia M’s permission.

She accuses the latter of having raped her twice and of having been aware that her husband was raping her.

"Divine Order"

Interrogated on March 14 by an anti-terrorism investigating judge, Sonia M. denied having committed any abuse and denounced "a single rape" of her former husband. The teenager "left her room freely, ate what she wanted, went to the bathroom when she needed", she said in her interrogation of which the AFP was informed.

She also assured that she was not carrying a pistol, as the young Yezidi claims.

Kidnapped in August 2014 in Iraq, the teenager was sold to several jihadist families.

"He told me it was going to be […] his slave"

Sonia M. claimed that her husband had not "asked her opinion". "He told me that it was going to be, I don’t like this word, his slave, that it was a right given to him had granted and that I had no right to contradict him, that it was a divine order". She said she did not like giving orders and did the cleaning herself when her husband was away.

The investigating judge, who had initially implicated her as an accomplice, finally indicted her as the perpetrator for acts dating back to September 2014 to March 2019.

These new prosecutions are "opportunistic accusations", Sonia’s lawyer was outraged Mr., Me Nabil Boudi. "We want to make him responsible for the most serious crimes because justice has failed to apprehend the real perpetrators.

"Shattered by these accusations", Sonia M. is a " repentant convinced", once again assured her advice, as "evidenced by all her testimonies in various terrorist trials". "I am convinced that justice will eventually exonerate him".

If the investigating magistrate orders a trial at the assizes for Sonia M., this hearing will be "the first trial of a ghost for a crime against humanity", note for his part Me Romain Ruiz, lawyer for the Yezidi.

The debates "will test France’s ability to judge war crimes committed in Syria", estimated the lawyer.

"Document these crimes"

French justice is giving itself the means to investigate the fate of minorities under the Islamic State.

At the end of 2016, a preliminary investigation known as "structural" was opened for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Iraq and Syria since 2012 "to the detriment of ethnic and religious minorities", explained Saturday the National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor's Office (Pnat ) at the AFP.

These investigations focus in particular on crimes suffered by "members of the Yazidi community and the Christian community" and "members of the Sheitat tribe".

"The objective is to document these crimes and identify the French perpetrators belonging to the Islamic State organization", added the public prosecutor.

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