x

Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Iraqi survivor of ISIS slavery to wed Yazidi activist 

'The struggle of our people brought us together and we will continue this path together,' says Nadia Murad

Nadia Murad, a Yazidi woman from Iraq who was trafficked as a sex slave to ISIS militants. EPA
Nadia Murad, a Yazidi woman from Iraq who was trafficked as a sex slave to ISIS militants. EPA

A Yazidi woman who was abducted and trafficked by ISIS announced her engagement on Monday to a fellow human-rights activist, four years after escaping the terrorist group.

Nadia Murad, 25, was one of the estimated 6,383 Yazidi women and children abducted and sold as sex slaves in Iraq's Sinjar region in August 2014. She escaped after three months of imprisonment and fled to Germany, where she now lives. She has since been named UN Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking.

"Yesterday was a special day for Abid Shamdeen and I. The struggle of our people brought us together and we will continue this path together," Ms Murad tweeted.

The announcement came days after the fourth anniversary of the attack on Kocho, Ms Murad's village and the scene of one of the bloodiest massacres committed by ISIS in Sinjar.

Ms Murad's family members, including her brothers and mother, were killed. She recounted her story to the UN Security Council in 2015 in a speech that went viral. She has since become an advocate for the rights of her community as well as refugees and women.

After their swift rise in June 2014, ISIS vowed to kill Iraq's Yazidis, a minority the extremists regard as devil worshippers.

The Yazidis, a religious sect whose beliefs combine elements of ancient Middle Eastern religions, were pushed from their homeland in Sinjar after the militants pledged to "purify" the country of non-Islamic individuals.

_______________

Read more:

Living in the shadows: Yazidi women tell of ISIS hell

The women stolen by ISIL speak out: Dunya Mikhail details their journeys

The women who took on ISIL - film follows female Kurdish resistance fighters

_______________

UN investigators estimate that more than five thousand Yazidis were rounded up and killed in 2014, calling it an act of genocide.

The UN Security Council has since approved the creation of an investigation team to collect, preserve and store evidence of the group's reign of terror in Iraq.

Ms Murad is represented by international human-rights lawyer Amal Clooney, who is campaigning for ISIS members to be prosecuted at the International Criminal Court.

Ashwaq Haji, a young Yazidi woman who fled to Germany as a refugee, returned to northern Iraq after coming face to face with the ISIS militant who held her as a sex slave for three months.

Ms Haji, 19, was accosted by the man in a German supermarket in February. Traumatised by the encounter, she returned to Iraq the following month. Like many other Yazidis, she was kidnapped by ISIS in 2014.