First Norwegian woman charged with IS membership

Oslo Courthouse prostitutes trialOslo Courthouse.Photo. Norway Today Media

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The 31-year-old was reportedly on her way from Nordfjordeid to Syria to marry when she was arrested in Vienna in 2017.The verdict could have an impact on more people who have travelled.

The criminal case went to Oslo District Court in January. The verdict is ready on Monday.

The decision could be important for other Norwegian women who have travelled to IS-controlled areas and stayed there.It is estimated that after 2012, 12 Norwegian women travelled to Syria and Iraq to join forces with the extremist organization.

One of the questions that the district court is to decide on is whether it is a criminal offense to marry an IS combatant.

The 31-year-old was, accordingto the prosecution, on her way to marry a Somali-Norwegian when she was arrested in Austria in 2017.

She is charged with having participated in IS and given financial support to foreign combatants.

The prosecutor has asked five years for the woman. The woman denies punishment on all charges.

“The defendant never travelled to IS controlled areas and any money is quite small. What you really try to hit is the moral support” said defence lawyer, Steingrim Wolland.

The woman, who lived in Nordfjordeid,is a Somali citizen. She came to Norway as an asylum seeker in 2013.

More investigated

It is believed that several of the Norwegiann women who have travelled to IS areas today sit in detention camps in, among othe places,Syria.Norwegian authorities have already started investigating at least three of them.

State prosecutor, Marit Formo, said being a spouse of an IS combatant and living down there is a criminal offense under paragraph 136a.

“One who comes back, and who can be proved to have been married to a foreign combatant,is affected by the participant clause, plus any other
roles” she said.

The limit for family life

The law professor, Erling Johannes Husabø, at the University of Bergen,believes a crucial point legally will be where the border is drawn for legal family relations that must be respected.

“Giving food to the children cannot be punished as participation in a terrorist organization” said Husabø, who is an expert on Norwegian terrorist legislation,and has published the book, “Terrorism in Norwegian criminal law” He believes that court reservation, which is a principle in Norwegian law, will prevent this.Moreover, respect for family life is a
human right.

Repair clothes

Husabø said there must be a very concrete assessment of each case.For example,repairing combat clothing could be considered illegal material support, since it is of importance to the man’s function in the terrorist organization.

“But having cohabitation with her husband and cooking and such, I would not have raised a case at least” said Husabø.

The professor believes that there is more involved which could bring interesting issues to the fore.

“Especially, you can get difficult cases where someone has travelled to marry combatants.

There has been a tendency for women from the west to be assigned to a man.In such cases,one could argue that they have participated in the organization” said Husabø.

He stated that there are cases of this type in several western countries, and that it will be interesting to see how the various courts will balance terrorism with respect for family life,which is a human right under Article 8 of the Convention on Human Rights.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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1 Comment on "First Norwegian woman charged with IS membership"

  1. jideck chobot | 4. March 2019 at 12:24 |

    To my understanding marrying someone who is already a terrorist should be considered equal to “joining terrorism” and a crime as such.

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