Monday, 21 Rabiul Awwal 1441 / 18 November 2019

Monday, 21 Rabiul Awwal 1441 / 18 November 2019

Former Yazidi sex slave returns to Iraq tearfully

Jumat 02 Jun 2017 14:16 WIB

Red: Reiny Dwinanda

Nadia Murad, 24, was abducted from Kocho near Sinjar, an area home to about 400,000 Yazidis, and held by Islamic State in Mosul where she was repeatedly tortured and raped.

Nadia Murad, 24, was abducted from Kocho near Sinjar, an area home to about 400,000 Yazidis, and held by Islamic State in Mosul where she was repeatedly tortured and raped.

Foto: Independent

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID,  KOCHO -- A prominent Yazidi activist held as a sex slave by Islamic State militants returned to her home village in Iraq on Thursday where

she was captured three years ago, tearfully pleading forinternational help to free other Yazidi women still captive.

Nadia Murad, 24, was one of about 7,000 women and girls captured in northwest Iraq in August 2014 by the hard-line Sunni Muslim fighters who view Yazidis as devil worshippers.

She was abducted from Kocho near Sinjar, an area home to about 400,000 Yazidis, and held by Islamic State in Mosul where she was repeatedly tortured and raped. She escaped three months later, reaching a refugee camp, then making her way to Germany.

Mu e Yazidi religious minority, in the United Nations Security Council in 2015 and to all governments globally, earning her a Nobel Peace Prize nomination and U.N. Goodwill Ambassador role.

She cried as she visited her former school in the village of Kocho, which was retaken from Islamic state fighters late last week.

"I am a daughter of this village," she said.

At the school three years ago, the militants gathered all the Kocho residents, sending children to training camps, forcing women and girls into slavery and killing the men, she recalled in tears.

An estimated 3,500 women and girls still are enslaved.

"We hoped that our destiny would be like the men and be killed, but instead Europeans, Saudis and Tunisians and other fighters came and raped us and sold us," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Seven mass graves lie in Kocho, and Murad called for them to be exhumed.

"Open a case for those that lost everything, their parents, people who can not go back to their villages and exhume their loved ones buried around their villages," she said.

The international community has failed to help free the women and girls still held captive, she said.

"The international community has not delivered on its responsibility," she said. "I tell anyone that you are being unjust for not supporting a minority like the Yazidis."

Murad has called for the massacre of Yazidis to be officially recognised as genocide.

She visited her village in the company of her sister,

surrounded by Yazidi fighters, and stood on the roof of the school to speak.

Many in the crowd cried as they listened to her speak and thank the forces fighting to liberate the Yazidi villages.

Murad said she never thought she would get back to Kocho, an agricultural village once home to about 2,000 Yazidis, of whom about half were killed in the 2014 attacks or are missing.

Murad's sister Khayriyah, 30, who also was enslaved for five months but escaped, said she too never imagined returning home.

"I never thought I would come back to Kocho again," she told the Foundation. "I thought I would be killed."

One of Murad's nieces is still held by Islamic State. The visit, under heavy security, came after militias loyal to Iran and fighting alongside Iraqi armed forces managed to fight their way to border with Syria for the first time last

week, freeing the last Yazidi villages from Islamic State.

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