‘Nothing changed at all’ for ISIL sexual violence victims: Nobel laureate Nadia Murad

‘Nothing changed at all’ for ISIL sexual violence victims: Nobel laureate Nadia Murad

İpek İzci – ISTANBUL

Despite finding widespread support globally, Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad has said she feels disappointed that none of the ISIL militants who raped and tortured Yazidi women have been brought to justice yet.

“I got e-mails from all over the world. Some people encourage me, some say that they embrace me and my people, some others offer help. I have been exhausted in the last two years. I work hard in the advocacy of vulnerable people, but nothing has changed at all. That makes me very upset,” she told daily Hürriyet on March 24.

Murad, an Iraqi Yazidi human rights activist and survivor of sexual slavery by ISIL, was awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for her “efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.”

Many women who have gone through the tortures of ISIL militants refrained from telling their ordeals, she recalled, saying: “I encourage them. Everyone should tell what they have experienced in order to reveal the truths about the crimes committed by ISIL. However, none of the ISIL militants have been brought to court yet even after all the efforts. It really annoys me.”

She recalled her hesitation in speaking out, saying that violence and rape victims often feel ashamed.

“But then I thought about the fate of thousands of women and girls who had no chance to escape from ISIL. I encouraged myself to be their voice and advocate. I comprehended that we should tell the truth and say everywhere what ISIL did. If we, as the victims, keep silent about what ISIL did, who else can tell the facts? Nobody!” she added.

Murad’s dream was to run a beauty salon after graduation from high school when she was a child in the village of Kocho in Iraq’s Sinjar district near the Syrian border.

“But now I want to put ISIL against the court and liberate the world from the terrorists and violence,” she said.

“Justice, peace, equality and humanism! That’s what I want to hear.”

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