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[Reportage] Iraq: On the trail of Yazidi women and children kidnapped by ISIS

2019-08-03T19:33:34.175Z

In Iraq, five years ago, the Yezidi community of Sinjar, in the west of the country, was slaughtered by the jihadists of the Islamic State group. This monotheistic religious minority of a few hundred thousand faithful is fighting today to make ...


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A group of Yazidis fleeing the advance of jihadists in northern Iraq, August 13, 2014. PHOTO / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE

In Iraq, five years ago, the Yezidi community of Sinjar, in the west of the country, was slaughtered by the jihadists of the Islamic State group. This monotheistic religious minority of a few hundred thousand faithful is struggling today to recognize the genocidal nature of the crimes they have suffered. Nearly systematic abuses: mass killings, children enlisted in the ranks of the IS and thousands of women reduced to sexual slavery. Five months after the fall of the territorial caliphate in Syria, many are still missing. RFI met a "hunter" of Yazidis, who tries to trace these women and children.

With our correspondent in Erbil, Noé Pignède

Five years ago, the village of Idriss Kocho was invaded by jihadists. Dozens of his neighbors were killed by the terrorist group, their wives and children captured and enslaved . Since then, this survivor has dedicated his life to tracking the missing.

" Allowing slaves to escape is very complicated. For several months, the operations are practically stopped. Before, Daesh had a large territory, from Mosul to Raqqa, it was easier to find contacts to buy the prisoners. Now that the caliphate has fallen, the jihadists are scattered. Recently, we found a Yezidi woman in Idlib in Syria. And we know that dozens more are still with families who fled to Turkey. "

To redeem these slaves, this Yezidi must go through dozens of middlemen and put several thousand dollars on the table. But some inmates are not for sale. On his phone, Idriss shows us a picture of his 9-year-old daughter with a knife under her throat.

" The Jordanian family that holds her prisoner is still in Syria, in an area controlled by jihadist militias. They know my job, and know that I've helped hundreds of women escape, so in revenge, he's holding her hostage. But nothing will stop me. If necessary, I will sacrifice my daughter to continue to save those of others. "

Like Idriss Kocho's daughter, nearly 3,000 women and children are still missing. Some, captured very young by the terrorist group and indoctrinated do not even know they are Yazidis.

Also to listen: Help Yazidi women in Kurdistan of Iraq

Source: rfi

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