Judge Amina, fuchsia sunglasses perched atop her long, blonde hair, commands the ISIS prisoner to enter.
Mahmoud Amir, a 22-year-old Syrian, walks in, wearing slippers, sweatpants and a black, long-sleeved T-shirt. He lowers himself into an office chair, facing three judges seated behind a long desk. In his hands, he holds the black fabric blindfold that guards have just removed from his eyes.
This is a terrorism court near the city of Qamishli, in the Kurdish Syrian region of Rojava in northeastern Syria. The region broke away from Syrian government control in 2012. Since then, this self-administered area, recognized by almost no country, has developed its own justice system aspiring to international human rights standards — a rarity in the region.