Alleged Islamic State fighter on Trial in Netherlands for War Crimes

7/10/2019

Oussama Achraf Akhlafa, a Dutch-born alleged Islamic State militant went on trial in the Netherlands on Monday for war crimes committed in Iraq and Syria, after posing with a crucified body and sharing images of dead victims online.

There is no international tribunal to prosecute the widespread atrocities committed during Syria’s civil war, which began in 2011, but several European countries have put citizens who joined militant groups in the Middle East on trial.

According to the European police agency Europol, some 5,000 Europeans went to fight in Syria and Iraq, of whom some 1,500 have returned. Roughly 300 Dutch men and women joined the war in Iraq and Syria, prosecutors said.

It is the first trial in the Netherlands dealing with war crimes committed by an alleged Islamic State militant. Akhlafa is being tried under so-called universal jurisdiction, which enables war crimes to be prosecuted regardless of where they were committed.

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Outlet: 
Reuters