Dutch court convicts Daesh militant of war crimes in Syria and Iraq

Fighters of Syrian Democratic Forces walk along a road after Raqqa was liberated from the Daesh group, in Raqqa, Syria October 17, 2017. (REUTERS)
Updated 24 July 2019

Dutch court convicts Daesh militant of war crimes in Syria and Iraq

  • The court said Akhlafa had posed smiling next to the crucified body of a man who had been executed by Daesh, and had posted the picture on Facebook

AMSTERDAM: Dutch judges on Tuesday convicted a Daesh militant of war crimes in Iraq and Syria and sentenced him to more than 7 years in prison after he posed with a crucified body and shared images of dead victims online.
Netherlands-born Oussama Achraf Akhlafa, 24, was found guilty of membership in a terrorist organization. He fought alongside Daesh militants in Mosul in Iraq and in Raqqa, Syria, between 2014 and 2016.
Prosecutors had sought a sentence of 7 years, 8 months.
The court said Akhlafa had posed smiling next to the crucified body of a man who had been executed by Daesh, and had posted the picture on Facebook.

BACKGROUND

The case is the first trial in the Netherlands dealing with war crimes committed by a Daesh militant.

“He violated the personal dignity of the deceased, thereby breaching the Geneva Convention,” the court said, in a reference to the treaties protecting the rights of war victims. Akhlafa was tried under so-called universal jurisdiction, which enables war crimes to be prosecuted regardless of where they were committed, in the first trial in the Netherlands dealing with war crimes committed by a Daesh militant.
A second defendant, Dutch-born 24-year-old Reda Nidalha, was sentenced to 4-1/2 years in prison for membership of a terrorist organization.


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