Friday, 17 August 2018

Yazidi teenager sold into slavery - 'I met my IS captor on a German street'

A Yazidi teenager sold into slavery by Islamic State has told the BBC of her horror after she escaped to Germany, only to come face-to-face with her captor in the street.

Ashwaq was only 14 when Islamic State fighters stormed into northern Iraq, including the heartland of the Yazidi people.

They took thousands of women as sex slaves, including Ashwaq - sold for $100 to a man named Abu Humam.

Raped and beaten, she managed to escape three months later and then went to Germany with her mother and one brother.

A few months ago, on the street outside a supermarket, she heard someone call out her name. She says it was Abu Humam - and he said he knew where she lived.
"I never in my life believed that I would see something like this in Germany," she told the BBC.

"I left my family and my country and went to Germany to forget the beating and the pain. The last thing I expected was to meet my IS captor and that he would know everything about me."

Germany's federal prosecutor says Ashwaq reported the incident to the police five days after she said it took place. Ashwaq says she told investigators everything, including her harrowing experiences in Iraq.

Officers made an e-fit of the suspect and told her to contact the police immediately if she saw Abu Humam again.

She says she also told the police to check the supermarket's CCTV, but says this did not happen.

"I waited a whole month," she says, but received no news.

Fearful that she would see her captor again and wishing to be reunited with four of her sisters who had since been rescued from IS, Ashwaq returned to northern Iraq, leaving behind the town of Schwäbisch Gmünd where she had hoped to start a new life.

"If you haven't been through it, you won't know what it's like... it goes straight to your heart," she said. "When a girl is raped by IS, you can't imagine what it's like when you see this guy again."

Frauke Köhler, a spokeswoman for Germany's top court, says police made every effort to locate Abu Hummam using the e-fit image and Ashwaq's testimony, but were unable to find him.

By the time they contacted her again in June this year as part of the investigation, Ashwaq had already left for Iraq.

BBC       News.

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