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Sakharov Prize: Nadia Murad and Lamiya Aji Bashar to receive this year's award

Added 12/9/2016
Ilustrační foto
European Parliament - 9. 12. 2016
Iraqi Yazidi Islamic State survivors and activists Nadia Murad and Lamiya Aji Bashar receive Parliament’s 2016 Sakharov Prize during a ceremony in Strasbourg on Tuesday 13 December. After escaping sexual enslavement by Islamic State they both became spokespeople for women affected by the terrorist group's campaign of sexual violence and for the persecuted Yazidi minority. Find out more about their fight by watching our video and follow the ceremony live online.
Nadia Murad Basee Taha and Lamiya Aji Bashar are from Kocho, one of the villages near Sinjar, Iraq. In August 2014, Islamic State militants slaughtered all the males in the village. Young women, including Aji Bashar, Murad and their sisters, were abducted by Islamic State militants and forced into sex slavery.

They eventually managed to escape: Murad in November 2014 and Aji Bashar in April 2016.

Murad, 23 years old, and Aji Bashar, 19 years old, now live in Germany and have become active in raising awareness of the plight of the Yazidi community in Iraq, a religious minority subjected to a genocidal campaign by Islamic State militants and of the situation of women affected by the terrorist group’s campaign of sexual violence.

Murad said: “I’ve seen thousands of refugees go through the same thing as myself and my family. We are scattered all over the place. I also know that Islamic State is still trying to exterminate us. I think about this and this is what gives me the strength, all the strength, to continue."

Aji Bashar added: “I would really like to explain what happened to me there, not only for myself, but so others, the other women, are not treated like this, so that we Yazidis never have to go through anything like this again."