"Human beings should not be merchandise"

the words of Nadia Murad

Nadia Murad

Nadia Murad

“I talked so much about the crimes of the Islamic State that I got tired of doing so, as there is no effective action at the international level. I talked about the story of my community, subject to a true kind of genocide, and of all communities in Iraq and Syria. I talked about 6,000 Yazidi women and children who were spiritually, sexually and physically enslaved. Hence I talked about myself”.

With these words Nadia Murad introduces herself to the audience of the Festival of Human Rights of Milan. Nadia is a young Yazidi woman who, after a three-months ordeal in the hands of the ISIS militia men, managed to escape her torturers. She was bought and sold by Daesh, she was raped and gang raped and she directly witnessed the massacre of her family.

Nadia tells what it is like to live under the Islamic State today: destroyed villages, massacred men, enslaved women and children. Young people have no access to education, on the contrary they are trained to terrorism, to kill their fathers and brothers considered as “infidels”, to act inhumanely. Opponents are shot dead, like Nadia’s six brothers. “All this happened in most of our territories, and 37 mass graves have already been found. The Iraqi authorities and the international community have considered these elements as sufficient evidence of the genocide perpetrated against my community, but 3,599 Yazidi women and children are still victims of slavery”.

The report of the young girl also embraces the memory of the cultural heritage that was destroyed by fundamentalists – from Palmyra in Syria to the cities in the North of Iraq, the Church of Saint Mary and the more worship places of different communities.

“We are faced with crimes against the humanity, that should happen no more n the 21st century – says Nadia. The bodies of my brothers, relatives, the murdered, cannot remain unburied. the bells of the churches in our towns should not stop. Human beings can not be merchandise, cannot be stripped off their freedom”.

Nadia demands the great nations to respect their moral duties, protecting the minorities such as the Yazidi one and bringing the culprits of the Islamic State before the International Criminal Court. But she demands also the very Muslims to be the first to tackle the destructive fundamentalist thought, also through a careful analysis of the Muslim doctrine. Many crimes were committed in the name of religion, remembers Nadia, and today many of these crimes are perpetrated in the name of Islam. Nonetheless “the world should not make the mistake of having these concepts mixed up. Many Muslims want the Good of the entire humanity therefore become the first targets of terror. Confusing the concepts is a crime, no less than the ones of the extremists”.

Nadia’s is a warning not to become prey to ideologies of terror and racism, and helpint those who flee to Europe leaving everything behind and often dying in the Mediterranean or during the long journeys to safety.

“Somebody who escapes death – remembers Nadia – cannot find him or herself faced with more death. Those who escaped genocide cannot find the doors of the world shut in front of him or her or his or her children”.

Martina Landi, Gariwo Project Manager and Coordinator

12 May 2016

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