Ezidi women accept human rights award
Nadia Murad (C) and Lamiya Aji Bashar (R), both Kurdish women of the Ezidi faith receive their 2016 Sakharov Prize from European Parliament President Martin Schulz (L) during an award ceremony at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, Dec. 13, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

STRASBOURG, France (Kurdistan24) – Two Yezidi (Ezidi) women kidnapped by Islamic State (IS) militants in 2014 accepted the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize on Tuesday.

Nadia Murad and Lamiya Aji Bashar were previously revealed as recipients of the award in October.

The two women were given their prize during a ceremony in Strasbourg, France on Tuesday.

Murad and Bashar are two of several thousand women who were abducted by IS and sold as sex slaves.

After IS’ emergence in Iraq in 2014, the insurgent group sought to exterminate the Ezidi population in the country.

Nearly 5,000 Ezidi men, women, and children were massacred by IS militants in Sinjar (Shingal).

Later that year, Shingal was liberated by Kurdish Peshmerga forces with the help of US-led coalition warplanes.

Murad and Bashar have since been involved in humanitarian efforts to raise awareness about the Ezidi tragedy.

Upon receiving her award, Bashar stated she wanted to be a “voice for the voiceless,” and encouraged those in attendance to support the victims still affected by the genocide.

Moreover, Murad explained IS insurgents targeted people “who stand against their ideology, and that those responsible for rights violations should be held accountable at the international level.”

“The genocide did not only consist of killings; it also sought to enslave women in a systematic manner and to take children,” Murad added.

Last year, during a UN Security Council hearing, Murad urged members to “liberate [Ezidi] areas and to eliminate the militant group.”

Additionally, earlier this month, Murad tweeted she was “not happy [with] the results but still hopeful human consciousness [would] prevail.”

The award is named after Andrei Sakharov, a dissident Soviet scientist who died in 1989, and is handed annually to those who defend human rights.


(Baxtiyar Goran contributed to this report)


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