Nihad Barakat Shamo Alawsi, who arrived in India last week as part of an eight-member delegation comprising other ISIS rape and persecution survivors to attend the Republic Day celebrations in Delhi, has shared her horrifying experience in the captivity of the terrorist organisation in Iraq.
Nihad, 18, a Yazidi girl from Iraq’s Shinghal town, told Mail Today that she was sold to the ISIS as a sex slave, but managed to escape after 15 months in captivity. She added that hundreds of Yazidi women even today choose death over rape — slitting their wrists or jumping off buildings.
Nihad also said the terrorists would lock young girls up in washrooms hours before being forcibly married off to Islamic State fighters. Many of the girls would try to slash their wrists or devise other ways to end their lives.
“My younger sister, who was just 13 years old then, was repeatedly raped in the adjoining room and her screams still echo in my ears. In those dark hours, several other captive Yazidi girls, who were brought in from different camps, first told me that many chose suicide to escape rape and torture,” Nihad told Mail Today.
The delegation arrived in India to draw support from the Indian government for the Yazidi community.
Nihad said that she had to leave behind her three-month-old son and has not heard of her younger sister, who was taken captive along with 27 others from her family on August 3, 2014 in an ISIS attack on Shinghal.
Nadia Murad, 23, who was taken as a sex slave by the militant group, has described in her book – The Last Girl -- how she and other young women were forced to pray before they were raped.
READ ALSO: Fearless Nadia, The Yazidi
Murad was among more than 5,000 Yazidi women taken captive when ISIS swept through the group’s territories in northern Iraq.
The Islamic State in 2014 had undertaken systematic killing of Yazidis, a community of about 50,000 members and whom the terrorist group refers to as “devil worshippers”. One can only be born a Yazidi and believe in sun worshipping. The United Nations has termed it as an attempted genocide. There are about 2,000 Yazidi women in the captivity of the Islamic State and the fleeing population is forced to live in camps in the Kurdistan region.
“We would be bought at the market, or given as a gift to a new recruit or a high-ranking commander, and then taken back to his home, where we would be raped and humilia¬ted, most of us beaten as well. Then we would be sold or given as a gift again, and again raped and beaten, then sold or given to another militant, and raped and beaten by him, and sold or given, and raped and beaten, and it went this way for as long as we were desirable enough and not yet dead. If we tried to escape, we would be punished severely. As Hajji Salman had warned me, ISIS hung our photos at checkpoints, and residents in Mosul were instructed to return slaves to the nearest Islamic State centre. They were told there was a five-¬thousand-dollar reward if they did,” she wrote.
She added that: “I heard of one girl who penetrated herself with a bottle so that she would no longer be a virgin when her militant came for her, and others who tried to set themselves on fire. After they were free, they were able to say proudly that they scratched so hard at their captor’s arm that they drew blood, or they bruised his cheek while he was raping them.”