Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative

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Three Yazidis Women Escape from Daesh, and Tell Their Stories to Rudaw

Ahmed Mahmood – Rudaw


Three Yazidi sisters managed to escape from the grip “Daesh” in Mosul, and after a long journey on foot, they again encountered members of Daesh who tried to bring them back to the prisons where they had previously been captive. However, they managed to escape and reach safety where they could tell their story to the Rodaw media network.

Azidi women fleeing for fear of kidnapping by Daash
Yazidis women fleeing for fear of kidnapping by Daash

The story of the three sisters begins with their promise to one another either to escape together or die together. Only this would end their horrendous captivity which entailed nights of brutal sexual assault, and with that, the possibility of carrying the baby of one of the dozens of Daesh gunmen who raped them.

The oldest of the three sisters, (F-N), is 28. Having liberated herself from the grips of Daash, she told the story of her escape, along with her ​​sisters, aged 20 and 23.  F-N says: “We promised each other to escape together from a small door in the house where we were detained. The house is located in the center of Mosul, in a very old area, and is under strict control of Daesh.

“In the final period before our escape, some of the leading members of the organization were trying to transfer one of my sisters to “Al-Haj.” Through their talk with each other, I heard that that this person was the leader, “Prince”, of all the members who held us captive, and according to them, this “Prince” was looking for girls under twenty years old, who would spend a black night with him”.

(F-N) says that she helped her sisters to escape, and decided, if necessary, to kill herself with ​​them to be free of the cruel and degrading sexual abuse they suffered. She was ready to carry out this desperate plan if a successful escape was not possible.

So she fled with her ​​sisters, promptly at 3 in the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015, with the help of some other Yadizi women.  They went out through a small door of the house, where they were detained, and managed, despite the cold, to hide inside the garden until dawn, when they would try to complete their escape by climbing over the wall of the house. All of this carried out with constant fear of arrest by members of Daesh.

The escape story of the three sisters was not an easy task and what happened with these three is only the beginning.

The oldest sister, F-N, tells of the moment when they scaled the wall of the house. The member of Daesh who was in charge of the night guard saw them rushing to escape and chased them into nearby neighborhoods, shooting at them to intimidate and stop them. F-N states without hesitation that, “We decided not to stop, even if he killed us in the street”.

The surprise came when a young Arabic Muslim man in the next neighborhood tried to provide assistance to the three sisters, F-N says: “this young man offered to let us into his house, and also opened fire on the man from Daesh who had been pursuing us and wounded him in the shoulder”.

She added: “We did not enter the home of this young man because we wanted to move forward and not stop until we were sure to be saved from this nightmare. The next step was to go to Tilkaif district (25 km north of Mosul), and we made our journey on foot, for fear that if we used a car the driver might be connected with Daesh and might take us back to that dark nightmare we had just escaped”.

F-N has not forgotten that young man who helped her and her sisters to escape, and she shed tears for him, saying: “I fear for the fate of the young man who helped us, that the elements of Daesh might kill him in retaliation for helping us”.

After a perilous voyage, the three sisters arrived at the house of one of their relatives in the Tilkaif district. F-N says: “After we got to the house of a friend of my father, who is very close to our family, I felt as if I had woken up from a horrible nightmare. We stayed at his home for a few days, and then we were able to reach regions close to Talkaif which are under the control of the Peshmerga forces, and then finally, to freedom”.

F-N explains that she had been exposed to very bad conditions during her captivity and escape.  To remember and recount the events she endured will be difficult, for her experiences were traumatizing, worse even than the most violent and misogynistic Hollywood horror movies.

F-N says that “The motive of her escape with her ​​sisters was the risk of pregnancy by Daesh men at such young ages, this would bring continuous in pain and heartbreak to all three: “God does not accept this injustice, I and my sisters, we were easy prey under the claws of Daesh men”.

She adds, “Death was the lesser evil for us given the brutal sexual abuse we were subjected to every day and every night, by Daesh members”.