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An Abducted Yazidi Woman Describes the Horrors of the Islamic State

Girl – Silhouette

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Aleteia - published on 10/22/14

"I want to die so my suffering will come to an end"

Arbil/Aleteia ( – A Yazidi-Iraqi woman abducted by the Islamic State was able to make contact with a BBC correspondent and said that the conditions under which she was being held were deplorable.

She added that “we are still wearing the same summer clothing we were wearing when we were abducted and with winter coming on conditions will worsen. My children were like angels, but the horrible conditions within which we are living currently have completely changed them. It is as though they are no longer children or human beings anymore.”

She further stated that, “The children under twelve years of age are left with their mothers, but the children older than thirteen are taken with the men and no one knows exactly what happens to them. We don’t know anything about them. With regards to the girls, even the younger ones are being taken.”

We were unable to ascertain the name of the woman or where she was being held because she feared for her safety. She was only able to speak by telephone; her only line connecting her with the outside world, because she was able to hide from her captors.

She added, “We have been waiting for more than two months for someone to come rescue us, but it has been in vain. I want to die so my suffering will come to an end.”

Yazidi activists estimate that the number of children who have been abducted by IS fighters from various villages throughout the Nineveh Province is approximately 1,500.

Many of them are suffering from dehydration, skin diseases and psychological problems after spending more than two months in captivity. They are accompanied by more than 3,000 women and men who are protecting them in schools, prisons, and apartments in various villages. This has all occurred since ISIS took control of a vast area of northern Iraq.

Noreen Channu, a Yazidi activist in a group that calls itself “Yazidis Around the World” said that they were able to gather data about the whereabouts of Islamic State fighters by speaking with people who had escaped from captivity and through other means as well.

Channu added that “Iraqi, Kurdish, American and British authorities have informed us of the location where many of the captives are being held, but as of yet no one has done anything to rescue them.”

The activist mentioned that she had been in contact with some of the captives via telephone, but has lost contact with many of them over time. Members of the Islamic State may have found out that they had telephones. She also lost contact with some young girls and women after “they were sold and taken out of Iraq to countries like Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan.” Channu expressed her feelings of frustration “because the world is sitting idly by while atrocities are being committed against the Yazidi minority.”

Amina Sa’id, a former Yazidi member of Parliament is assisting efforts to draw the International Community’s attention to the plight of the Yazidis. She said, “The International Community is intervening in dozens of countries to fight against the Islamic State. They are arming the Iraqi military and the Peshmerga in Kurdistan for this purpose. However, to date no one who has been abducted has been freed. We hope that they will quickly rescue them because dozens of them have died and have been sold.”  

This article from Aleteia’s Arabic edition was translated by Donald Puhlman.

Islamist Militants
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