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Dutch court convicts woman for spreading IS propaganda

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By AP
The website of the Telegram messaging app is seen on a computer's screen.
The website of the Telegram messaging app is seen on a computer's screen.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Andy Wong   -  

A Dutch court convicted a 32-year-old woman and sentenced her to six years' imprisonment Tuesday for involvement in war crimes committed by the so-called Islamic State extremist group in Syria and Iraq.

In the ground-breaking conviction, The Hague District Court ruled that Islamic State is a criminal organisation with the aim of committing war crimes and convicted the woman of involvement in the war crimes for spreading IS propaganda from her home near Amsterdam.

The woman's sentence was double the three years originally demanded by prosecutors, with judges saying the sentence request was “far too low” even though the defendant suffers from what the court called a “psychological impulse disorder.”

The woman, whose name was not released in line with Dutch privacy rules, distributed large amounts of IS propaganda via the Telegram messaging app in 2019.

She shared two videos of prisoners of war being killed and provided her own “humiliating” commentary for one of the executions. By doing so, “she abused the personal dignity of the deceased people and that is a war crime,” the court said.

It added that she incited others to commit terrorist crimes and war crimes, trained herself and others to make bomb vests and sent money to people involved in terrorist activities.

Spreading propaganda made her “part of this terrorist organisation that is guilty around the world of attacks and spreading fear,” the court said in a statement.

As well as the six-year-sentence, she was ordered to undergo compulsory psychological treatment.