Former Isis 'sex slave' returns home to northern Iraq take revenge on the group

'I am carrying this weapon to take revenge'

Samuel Osborne
Thursday 20 July 2017 07:06 BST
Former Isis 'sex slave' returns home to northern Iraq take revenge on the group

A Yazidi woman who was held prisoner by Isis for nearly three years has returned to her hometown to "take revenge" on the militants.

Heiza Shankal was kidnapped along with thousands of other Yazidi women and children when Isis swept across Iraq in a brutal campaign in August 2014.

Around 50,000 members of the long-persecuted religious and ethnic group were trapped when Isis besieged Mount Sinjar.

Yazidi women speak of rape and beatings at the hands of Isis

Adult men were murdered, boys were captured and separated to be trained as child soldiers, and the women and girls were sold into sexual slavery.

"When the massacre took place in Shankal [the Kurdish name for Sinjar] and Isis kidnapped children and women, I was one of those who was taken away," Ms Shankal said in an interview with Arab24.

Her account suggests she was one of thousands of Yazidi women taken as sex slaves, who were bought and sold at several markets in the so-called caliphate.

"I was sold and bought," she said.

When she was finally freed, she "arrived at the hands of the comrades" and they brought her back to Sinjar, her hometown.

There, she joined a women's resistance unit to fight Isis.

"I was surprised to see a military force for protecting Shankal, so I decided to join the unit and take revenge," she said.

"I am carrying this weapon to take revenge from Abu Hassan, Abu Yusuf and Abu Sa'ad, who tortured me and tortured many mothers."

An estimated 9,900 Yazidis were killed or captured when Isis took over Mount Sinjar in the summer of 2014.

Of those, 3,100 were murdered, often in brutal ways such as beheading or being burned alive.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in