Four Dutch women with ISIS ties sentenced to prison by Rotterdam court
The Rotterdam District Court sentenced four Dutch women with ties to ISIS to prison terms ranging from 30 to 36 months, with 12 to 15 months of probation. They were found guilty of participating in the terrorist organization, and engaging in preparatory acts for terrorist crimes in Syria or Iraq from 2013 onwards. A fifth woman was acquitted of these charges.
The women and children were picked up from al-Roj, a Kurdish refugee camp in northern Syria, in February 2022. Their collection from the camp followed a court ruling that declared the Netherlands had to repatriate the women so they could face prosecution over their possible involvement with ISIS. If this had not been done in time, the case against them would have been dropped.
Meryem S. (34), Nawal H. (37), Hafida H. (31), and Amber K. (27) were convicted and sentenced to the prison terms with some of the time suspended. H. was also found guilty of leaving her three children neglected in a desperate situation.
Naima el-O. (54) was convicted of the same offense but acquitted of participating in ISIS. She was given a 16-month prison sentence, with nine months suspended. In 2014, she traveled to ISIS-held territory with her son, where he died later at the age of 16.
The court said that the women joined the terrorist organization and traveled to ISIS-controlled regions fully aware of the ongoing conflict. Their husbands were also active ISIS members, according to the court. "ISIS provided housing, furniture, and other necessities for their families, and they received wages from ISIS," the court added.
The court said that the prison sentences are shorter than the terms of up to four years demanded by the Public Prosecution Service (OM), primarily because the women "explicitly renounced the ISIS ideology." Additionally, the time the women and their children spent in al-Roj under deplorable conditions for nearly four years was taken into account as a contributing reason for the reduced sentences.
Reporting by ANP