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ICC Note:

Even though IS militants have lost most of their territory in the Middle East, international leaders warn that it is vital to fight violent ideology that justifies killing other people in the name of religion and raise support for the Iraqis trying to rebuild their lives. At a recent conference held at the UN, attendees heard from people like Bajoo, a 17-year-old girl who was captured in 2014 when IS militants raided Yezidi-areas. Much work is necessary to assist Iraqi IDPs trying to return and rebuild.

11/7/2017 Iraq (Catholic Philly) – The day she succeeded in her fourth attempt to escape six months of daily rape and humiliation by her Islamic State captors, Iraqi teen Ekhlas Khudur Bajoo made a vow.

“(I) promised myself not to stop until I brought justice. I’m fighting for all women and minority groups inside Iraq,” she said.

Bajoo, now 17, told a Nov. 2 U.N. forum she sees herself as a symbol of hope for religious and ethnic minorities victimized by IS.

She is a Yezidi, an ancient ethno-religious minority indigenous to what is now northern Iraq. IS militants attacked Yezidis in August 2014, when Bajoo was 14. They kidnapped 6,000 women and girls and killed 5,800, including Bajoo’s father.

Using the common Arabic name for IS, Bajoo said through an interpreter: “We want justice for the Daesh perpetrators, that they will be held accountable. What happened to us was a genocide. We want safety so we can live in peace.”

A receptive, capacity crowd heard Bajoo, a former Syrian captive, U.N. ambassadors and leaders of aid organizations discuss “Peace, Reconciliation and Justice: The Future of Religious and Ethnic Minorities Victimized by Daesh” at a conference organized by the Vatican’s Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations.

“Gabi,” a 48-year-old Syrian Christian man whose identity was obscured in a taped interview, described being abducted and prepared for beheading for being “an infidel Christian.”

 

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