By Michelle Nichols
UNITEDNATIONS (Reuters) – The fight for justice for victims of Islamic State militants does not end with the death of leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Nobel laureate Nadia Murad said on Wednesday, asking: “How about those that raped us?”
Murad, who won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, is an Iraqi Yazidi woman who was enslaved and raped by Islamic State (ISIS)fighters in Mosul, Iraq, in 2014. Several of her brothers were killed by Islamic State and their wives also held captive.
Since 2010, Baghdadi led the jihadist group. U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that Baghdadi killed himself by detonating a suicide vest after fleeing into a dead-end tunnel during a raid by U.S. special forces in northwest Syria.
“At first I talked to my sisters-in-law,” Murad told reporters at the United Nations. “Everyone was saying: ‘OK, but this is just Baghdadi, how about all these ISIS?’”
“How about those that raped us? They sold us, they still have our girls, they still have our children – about 300,000 Yazidis still missing, we don’t know anything about them,” she said.
U.N. experts warned in June 2016 that Islamic State was committing genocide against the Yazidis in Syria and Iraq to destroy the minority religious community through killings, sexual slavery and other crimes.
Islamic State militants consider the Yazidis to be devil-worshippers. The Yazidi faith has elements of Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Islam.
“There is thousands of ISIS, they joined al Baghdadi and they continue to do what he did,” Murad said. “So it wasn’t only Baghdadi, we have to know there is thousands of ISIS like Baghdadi … and they are not giving up.”
“We want to see them in justice,” she said.
A U.N. investigative team, created by the U.N. Security Council, is collecting and preserving evidence of acts by Islamic State in Iraq that may be war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide. Murad and human rights lawyer Amal Clooney had long pushed Iraq to allow U.N. investigators to help.
“Those captured alive need to be brought to justice in an open court for the world to see. Justice is the only acceptable course of action,” Murad wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
“We must unite and hold #ISIS terrorists accountable in the same way the world tried the Nazis in an open court at the Nuremberg Trials.”
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Tom Brown)