Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Sunday 01 August |
Saint of the Day: St. Alphonsus Liguori
home iconNews
line break icon

An Abducted Yazidi Woman Describes the Horrors of the Islamic State

Public domain

Aleteia - published on 10/22/14 - updated on 06/07/17

"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
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
Gold-winning Filipina Olympian shares her Miraculous Medal for th...
Cerith Gardiner
Simone Biles leaves the Olympics with an important lesson for her...
Mathilde De Robien
Did you know Princess Di was buried with a rosary?
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
Theresa Civantos Barber
The one thing we all should do before this summer ends
Zelda Caldwell
German women’s gymnastics teams modest dress protests sport’s ...
Lauren Daigle
J-P Mauro
After 3 years Lauren Daigle ousts herself from #1 Billboard spot
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.