Nobel laureate and former militant captive Nadia Murad called on Iraq yesterday to create a special team to investigate the fate of other members of her Yazidi minority kidnapped by the Islamic State group.
The 25-year-old, the first Iraqi to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, made the appeal during a visit to Baghdad.
“I’m very happy because three years ago I left Iraq physically and mentally exhausted. Today I’ve returned with a Nobel Peace Prize hoping it brings peace to Iraq,” she said during a meeting with President Barham Salih.
She called on Iraqi authorities to “build a specialised team to work with the international anti-militant coalition on the fate of Yazidis kidnapped by IS.”
Murad was jointly awarded the Nobel prize in Oslo on Monday with Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege for her work to highlight the plight of Iraq’s Yazidis.
Like thousands of other Yazidi women and girls, Murad was abducted by IS in 2014 as the militants overran the minority’s stronghold of Sinjar in northern Iraq, close to the border with Syria.
They were held captive, tortured, raped and sold as sexual slaves by the militants.
More than 3,000 Yazidis are still missing, probably still held as captives, according to Murad.
IS captured large swathes of Iraq and neighbouring Syria in 2014, proclaiming a “caliphate” in land it controlled. The militants have since lost most of their territory to offensives by multiple forces in both countries, retreating to desert holdouts. Murad said she planned to speak to officials in Baghdad about the “unknown fate of Sinjar and the Yazidi population”, noting that more than 80% of the minority still lived in camps and lacked basic necessities.
She said her “fight” today is to make sure the atrocities committed by IS against the Yazidis are recognised as a genocide.
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