VIDEO: Former ISIS Sex Slave on Global Mission to Seek Justice for Yazidis in Iraq, Syria

Mon Aug 22, 2016 14:19:00

A former prisoner of the self-proclaimed Islamic State is mission to highlight the plight of Yazidi people in Iraq and Syria, and says she hopes to get Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on board.

Twenty-one-year-old Nadia Murad, an Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL , IS and Daesh) survivor who was forced to become a sex slave, has become a human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee.

Her experiences at the hands of ISIS is driving her passion to seek justice for the Yazidi people, who have faced what she said was ongoing genocide by the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

"What makes me continue and not keep silent is the sounds of thousands of girls or females that are facing crimes: sexual, physical and psychological crimes," she said.


In August 2014, an ISIS massacre at Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq brought Yazidis into the spotlight.

It was then that Nadia's mother and six brothers were killed and she was abducted from her village near Sinjar to be forced into sex slavery by the group that had massacred her family.

""The worst part was when they came to our village, and gathered everyone in a school,” she said. “They took us in buses to Mosul and humiliated us along the way. We saw many difficult things that day.""

She added that she was just one of thousands of women and children that the militants had taken hostage.However, three months later, Nadia escaped.


Her passion to seek justice for her community and condemn the crimes of ISIS has led her on a global mission to speak with presidents, prime ministers and heads of state.

Ms Murad said she was working to bring a genocide case to the International Criminal Court, a cause that high-profile international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney has taken up. In 2016, Ms Clooney confirmed she would represent victims of the Yazidi genocide, including Ms Murad.

Amal Clooney

While multiple global bodies have recognised the Sinjar Massacre as genocide, a member country needs to refer the case so that the ICC investigates.

And that's where Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull comes in, Ms Murad said.

"As I have asked other countries, I want Australia to recognise what happened to Yazidis as genocide and also make ISIS accountable for their crime against Yazdi's, Christians and other minorities."

Ahmed Khudida, a Yazidi activist from the not-for-profit group Yazda that was established to support the Yazidi ethno-religious minority group, said he was shocked and frustrated at their lack of success so far.


""There are many conflicts in Syria and Iraq, and there is sectarian war there, and many countries also want to prosecute Bashar al-Assad's army or his government with ISIS.“They want to take all of them in one basket and open an investigation for all crimes.""

He claimed to know about 20 Australian foreign fighters for IS who had abused Yazidis and would give information about them to authorities.

"I think [the] Australian government should help us to get more information about them and bring them to justice and give Yazidi's their rights or justice.

“And also we think Australia can ask the ICC to open an investigation and prosecute not just ISIS foreign fighters in Australia but also in all Europe and the world."

International law expert Gideon Boas said he believed there were enough factors to warrant a case at the ICC.

"The fact that the massacre which is being called a genocide by Islamic State on the Yazidi people certainly has enough interest," he said.

"Technically and legally it hits the right note, it's open to a finding of genocide and Islamic State has nobody's support at the moment."

He said he wanted Australia to back an investigation into and a prosecution of all mass atrocities.

"This is an example of mass atrocity. I think remaining silent about it or refusing to support the proposition that the people who commit these acts should be brought to justice is never a good thing.

He added that Australia had been “relatively quiet on the international scene” regarding international criminal justice matters in recent years.

Yazidis seeking asylum

Nadia Murad called on the Australian government to prioritise resettling Yazidis in Australia.
She said 90 per cent of her community had been displaced and thousands had lost family members at the hands of ISIS.

"I know the Australian people and government respect people's dignity and have values we can live under, such as women's and children's rights, which our country lacks," she said.


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