Free Yezidi Foundation Press Release

The Case of Samantha Elhassani aka Um Yusuf

19 September 2019

The Free Yezidi Foundation is issuing a report and a memorandum regarding the case of Ms. Samantha Elhassani, also known as Um Yusuf. Ms. Elhassani is on trial in Indiana, the United States, for knowingly conspiring to provide material support and resources to a terrorist organization (Islamic State, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh).

The report details the case against the defendant, as well as a disturbing trend by which female ISIS members seek to escape culpability for crimes that they have committed or facilitated. See the full report here.

The memorandum outlines the specific indictments against the defendant. The memorandum also emphasizes elements of the US Criminal Code that include knowingly contributing to the violations of a number of grave human rights violations, in addition to the currently filed indictments related to terrorism. See the memo here.

The trial is scheduled to begin in 2020. The Free Yezidi Foundation is extremely concerned by the potential deposition of Yezidi genocide survivors, which will be retraumatizing. The judge in this case has granted Ms. Elhassani’s defense team its motion to depose these survivors, who were in fact ‘purchased’ by the defendant at an ISIS slave market. FYF concerns are elucidated in the report.

The Free Yezidi Foundation report includes recommendations regarding this case and similar cases to:

  • Ministries of Justice evaluating alleged crimes committed by male or female ISIS members
  • The United Nations (particularly UNITAD)
  • Yezidi organizations
  • Human rights organizations.

Enquiries or questions can be sent to