German teen who joined Isis may face death penalty in Iraq

16-year-old German citizen Linda Wenzel is currently awaiting trial in Baghdad for aiding Isis fighters. The teenager was found hiding in a basement in Mosul by Iraqi forces during an offensive to drive the jihadists from the city in July.

Wenzel ran away from her home in eastern Germany to join Isis in Iraq after talking to extremists online and is believed to have spent around a year in the country.  She said it took her a month to travel to Turkey, through Syria and into Iraq to marry an Isis fighter before she was taken to Mosul, where her husband was killed shortly after they arrived. Iraqi intelligence forces told AP that Linda allegedly worked with the Isis “police force”.

“You know teenagers under certain laws, they are accountable for their actions especially if the act is a criminal activity when it amounts to killing innocent people,” the Prime Minister said in an interview with the Associated Press. He added her fate will now be detmerined by the court system.

Iraq carried out at least 88 executions by hanging in 2016 and has put to death large numbers of people for terrorism offences since taking Mosul back from Isis.

If tried in Germany, Linda could face a prison term between of between one and ten years. Germany’s Foreign Ministry previously said they were working on returning the teen and three other German women who are imprisoned in Iraq, but there is currently no extradition treaty between the two countries.

Amir Musawy, an Iraqi journalist who met the German teenager after her arrest, said she was “exhausted” and had a leg injury when he spoke to her.

He said he was not sure she recognised the gravity of the situation she now finds herself in.

“I do not have the feeling that she understands what she did, and what she might have waiting for her, whether in Iraq or in Germany.

“She just told me that she wants her home back, like a journey that she went on and did not like.

“It’s like she is still thinking like a child or a young woman and not understanding what is waiting for her.”

She was 15 years old when she fled her homeland and told journalists in July that she regrets ever going to Iraq.

“I want to go home to my family,” she said at the time. “I want to get out of the war, away from the weapons, the noise.”

 

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