News, World

Freed Yazidi woman collapses on Iraqi television while confronting her IS rapist

A freed Iraqi Yazidi woman, who was held as a sex slave by the Islamic State (IS) group, came face-to-face with her tormentor on Iraqi television, demanding an explanation for her suffering before collapsing to the ground.

Ashwaq Hajji Hamid had been kidnapped and sold to IS when she was separated from her family and taken to Syria at the age of 14.

IS captured the Yazidi ancestral heartland of Sinjar in northern Iraq in August 2014, taking thousands of women as sex-slaves.

Five years after she was freed, Ms Hamid was given the chance to confront the man who raped and tormented her several times a day.

The confrontation was broadcast on Iraqi television station Al-Iraqiya, where she recalled how IS member Abu Humam pulled her by her hair before he began raping and abusing her.

“I did not expect them [IS] to rape us because I was only 14. But they restrained us with iron handcuffs and violently raped us,” she said.

Ms Hamid said she was taken along with hundreds of other women to Mosul where she was repeatedly abused by Humam.

uring the confrontation, Ms Hamid began to cry.

She said since she was not in a position to punish him, she wanted the Iraqi Government to deliver due justice for those who have suffered like her.

“Even if I was allowed to kill him, I would not want to get his filth on my hands, but I demand that the government do us right — it’s not just me, because who knows how many Yazidi girls he raped after me.”

During the confrontation, she asked Humam to look up and face her, but he remained fixated with his head hung low and eyes to the ground.

“You destroyed my life,” she continued.

“You robbed me of all my dreams. I was once held by IS, by you, but now you will feel the meaning of torment, torture and loneliness. If you had any feelings, you would not have raped me when I was 14, the age of your son, the age of your daughter,” she added.

Shortly after the emotional confrontation, Ms Hamid collapsed to the ground, ending the broadcast.

Al-Iraqiya TV also interviewed Humam about his treatment of Ms Hamid to which he unapologetically said: “She did not want it so I beat her to make her agree to the rape.”

Thousands of members of the minority Yazidi sect from Iraq were forced into sexual slavery by the jihadists when they surged across the border in 2014 and seized swathes of territory.

More than 3,000 other Yazidis were killed in an onslaught the United Nations later described as genocidal, which prompted the first US air strikes against IS.

Thousands more fled on foot, and many of them remain