Harkin brings IS survivor to Brussels
2016-03-01 15:23:58 -
Human Rights

By Staff Reporter


Independent MEP Marian Harkin welcomed Nadia Murad Taha to the European Parliament in Brussels on 23 February to commend her bravery and determination in the continued fight against the so-called Islamic State (IS) terror group.

Taha, a 21-year-old Yazidi survivor of IS enslavement, spoke at an event chaired by Harkin on the persecution of the Yazidi people and other religious minorities at the hands of her captors.

She recounted a horrific ordeal that included the systematic rape and brutalisation of girls as young as six, the terror and the fear of the Yazidi women, her own failed escape attempt, her inhumane punishment, and finally her successful escape and journey to Germany where she now lives.

Taha appeared before the UN Security Council in December last and since then she has met with political leaders in the US and Europe to raise awareness about the mass enslavement, forced displacement and extermination of the Yazidi and other religious minorities. 

On foot of her work, she has been nominated by the Iraqi government and others for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize.

Harkin thanked Taha for her testimony, and also reiterated her support for the campaign to have the persecution of the Yazidi people, Christians and other religious minorities recognised as an ongoing genocide. 

“The European Parliament has voted in support of this proposal and we are calling on all EU governments and the United Nations to recognise as genocide these crimes against humanity perpetrated by IS,” said the MEP for the North West constituency.

“I am writing to President [Michael D] Higgins requesting him to meet Nadia so that we can raise awareness in Ireland.”

Harkin added that this far “it is only Germany who has provided shelter for approximately 1,000 Yazidi women and girls who have managed to flee or escape their enslavement.

“Irish people need to know the reality of the situation for these persecuted minorities and then perhaps we may find a way to help.”

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