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BAGHDAD (AP) — An Iraqi court has sentenced one of the wives of the late brutal Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to death on charges that she was involved in crimes against Yazidi women captured by the militant group, the country's judiciary said Wednesday.

The verdict comes just weeks before the tenth anniversary of IS attacks on the Yazidi religious minority in the Sinjar region of northern Iraq in early August 2014. Thousands of people were killed or captured – including women and girls who were victims of human trafficking and sexual abuse. The United Nations declared that the campaign against the Yazidis amounted to genocide.

A statement from the Iraqi Judicial Council said the Karkh Criminal Court had sentenced the woman for “holding Yazidi women in her house” and facilitating their abduction by “the terrorist gangs (of the Islamic State group) in Sinjar district.” It also said the verdict was in accordance with Iraq's anti-terrorism law and the “Yazidi survivors law.”

The statement did not name the defendants, but two court officials identified her as Asma Mohammed, who was arrested in Turkey in 2018 and later extradited. A senior Iraqi security official told The Associated Press that another of al-Baghdadi's wives and his daughter, who were also extradited from Turkey to Iraq, were sentenced to life in prison.

The verdicts were handed down a week ago, but were only announced by the Judicial Council on Wednesday, he said.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case publicly.

Survivors of IS attacks in Iraq complain that those responsible are not being held accountable. They criticize the decision, taken at the request of the Iraqi government, to stop the UN investigation into IS crimes, which include the alleged use of chemical weapons.

At the same time, human rights groups have raised concerns about the lack of due process in the trials of suspected IS members in Iraq, particularly criticising the mass executions of terrorists. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have said that confessions are often extracted under torture and have called on Iraq to abolish the death penalty.

On June 29, 2014, al-Baghdadi, one of the most ruthless and effective jihadist leaders of modern times, declared the militant group's caliphate across large parts of Iraq and Syria. In 2019, he was killed in a US strike in Syria, dealing a major blow to the militant group. It has now lost all the territory it previously controlled, although some of its cells continue to carry out attacks.

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