Dutch Court Convicts Islamic State Terrorist of War Crimes

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) -

Dutch judges on Tuesday sentenced an Islamic State terrorist to seven and a half years in prison for war crimes in Iraq and Syria, after he posted images of dead victims online, Dutch news agency ANP reported.

Netherlands-born Oussama Achraf Akhlafa, 24, was found guilty of membership in a terrorist organization. He fought alongside IS terrorists 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 dead body of a man who had been executed by IS, and had posted the picture online.

“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 an IS terrorist.

A second defendant, Dutch-born 24-year-old Reda Nidalha, was sentenced to 4½ years in prison for membership in a terrorist organization.