A group of women from Iraq’s Izadi religious minority who were kidnapped and sexually abused by Daesh are seeking to join a legal case against a French firm charged with paying millions to the the terrorist group.
Lawyers said on Friday that they had filed an application for the women to become civil parties to the case against cement giant Lafarge.
On June 28, a panel of judges in Paris handed preliminary charges to Lafarge over complicity in crimes against humanity and financing terrorists.
The judges ordered it to pay 30 million euros ($35 million) as security deposit before a trial could open on the company’s alleged crimes.
Back then, rights campaigners welcomed the move and acknowledged that it showed the courts were beginning to recognize the role of Lafarge in spreading chaos.
The company faces allegations that it paid nearly €13 million ($14,700 million) to terrorists, including those belonging to Daesh, to keep a factory open in Syria. It also faces charges of endangering the lives of former employees in its branch in the northern Syrian Jalabiya region.
Lafarge is accused of paying the terrorists long after other French companies and multinationals had pulled out of Syria due to the spread of militancy.
The case marks the first time a multinational company has been charged with complicity in international crimes by Daesh.
“It (the case against Lafarge) provides an opportunity to establish that ISIS (Daesh), and all those who assisted them, will be held to account for their crimes, and that victims will be awarded just compensation,” lawyer Amal Clooney, which represents the Izadi minority, said in a statement.
“And it sends an important message to corporations that are complicit in the commission of international crimes that they will face legal consequences for their actions,” she added.
Clooney said the women were the victims of “forced displacement, executions, kidnappings, and … sexual enslavement.”
The Izadis are considered to be “devil worshipers” by Daesh, which invaded Iraq and Syria in 2014 and was later defeated by the two countries.
Thousands of females from the minority were kidnapped by the group that year and subjected to torture and rape.