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Woman kept as slave by ISIS tells Nicola Sturgeon of persecution

Yazidi woman Nadia Murad came to Scotland as a UN Ambassador to meet with the First Minister.

Nadia Murad: ISIS fighters came to her village in Iraqi Kurdistan in 2014. Various (see below)

A young Yazidi woman is travelling the world speaking of the horrors people in her homeland have faced in the past few years.

Nadia Murad was 22 years old when ISIS fighters came to her village in Iraqi Kurdistan in 2014. She was kept in captivity, raped repeatedly and forced to change her religion.

She eventually escaped and fled to Germany via Mosul and is now on a mission to seek help for others like her who are being persecuted.

On Tuesday, three years later, the Yazidi woman came to Scotland as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador to meet with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Speaking through a translator she told STV News: “I didn’t know about my fate. I saw people they took children to training camps and they were killing many others, telling us we would be enslaved.

“We didn’t feel valued as humans in their hands.

“They enslaved more than 6500 females they took them to different places. They did what they want to the women and my fate was the same. I was one of the victims and they did everything to us.”

She added: “They separated any woman over nine years old and were enslaving them they forced us to change our religion and they did everything they wanted to us.

“We were subjected to crimes to their hands that nobody can mention what they did for us.”

Ms Murad was held in captive for two months by a man who had a wife and family.

During her imprisonment, she believes she was violated by more than a dozen men, having fallen unconscious during some of her ordeals.

However, she was able to escape and through the help of charity workers in the Middle East made her way to Germany.

She said: “All ISIS members have the same behaviour and they were dealing with us at the same level but this one who took me told me he was a very, very bad man.

“I was subjected to many bad things. In total 12 men raped me.

“The last man who bought me said he would take me to someone from Syria. He went to buy clothes for me and there were no guards in front of his house; he told me to prepare because he was going to rape me.

“When he went to the supermarket to bring some clothes I fled and went to a local house in Mosul, where someone gave me a fake ID and from there they helped me relocate.”

Since then, her story has gone on to inspire many which has led to her work with the United Nations.

Among the many world leaders she has already met, Ms Murad met President Barack Obama and the previous US administration.

On the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration she tweeted a congratulatory message and hoped issues she had raised with his predecessor would be on his agenda.

However, the hope and optimism displayed by Ms Murad has yet to be reflected by President Trump’s actions.

On Monday, thousands of Scots took to the streets to protest against a ban on refugees travelling to America, imposed by the new ‘leader of the free world’.

The Yazidi woman hit out at the ban, telling STV it will cause much heartache and suffering among religious minorities looking to flee to the US.

She added: “In general world leaders are supposed to know there are many people who need protection.

“This is something real and this is happening for more than 3500 females – they are being subjected to more than what I have been subjected to.

“I know what is happening to them and every minute I am thinking about them.

“Donald Trump should know religious minorities are persecuted everywhere. He should not close his borders to those who need help.”

Top photo credits: Nadia Murad image – copyright STV, First Minister image – copyright Scottish Government on Twitter, Kurdistan image – copyright Jan Sefti on Flickr.

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