Speaking out: IS survivor picks up Nobel prize

The story of Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad is one of incredible bravery and almost unspeakable cruelty. By disclosing her ordeal of kidnap, rape and being sold as a sex slave, Nadia has shone a light on the fate of thousands of fellow Yazidi women and girls.
So what happened to them?


As Islamic State fighters advanced through Iraq, Yazidi women and girls - some as young as nine - were taken as spoils of war. Some escaped, some were rescued or bought back by their families. Many others are still missing.

Like Nadia, Lamiya Aji Bashar was bought and sold several times. She was badly injured by a landmine when she finally fled her captors. Now she, too, speaks out.


These are some of the perpetrators on “market day”, in an IS video, discussing what they would pay for a Yazidi girl.


Girls were also bought and sold over WhatsApp and Telegram social media apps. They were forced to pose for prospective buyers.


The Yazidis' torment began when IS took over their ancestral lands in northern Iraq in 2014, launching what the UN says was genocide. Thousands of Yazidis fled.


IS fighters hated the religious minority, seeing them as devil-worshippers. The women and girls taken as slaves were treated so badly, some of them killed themselves. Many more tried.


Ekhlas was one of them. She was 14 when she was captured, raped and abused every day for six months. After managing to escape, she now lives in Germany where she, too, has chosen to speak out about her ordeal. She hopes, one day, to become a lawyer.


But Ekhlas' sister is still missing. With IS now confined to just a sliver of territory, some fighters are said to be trying to sell off their slaves to fund their escape.


Thousands of Yazidis who fled or escaped Islamic State jihadists are now in grim camps. Aid workers say they lack basic services, let alone the complex psychological support the women need.


Nadia Murad, Nobel winner and global champion of the Yazidi cause, now campaigns on behalf of all the women and girls that suffered under IS.
“The only prize in the world that can restore our dignity is justice.”