United States Agency for Global Media

Alhurra Facebook video shared by Kurdish government

As part of Alhurra’s commitment to growing awareness to issues dealing with freedom of expression, religious freedom, women and minority rights, and human rights more generally across the MENA region, the network produced a video story highlighting ISIS’s inhumane practices. The extremist group has carried out sexual violence against women from the Yazidi religious minority through a campaign based on the group’s intent to revive slavery as an institution. These crimes against humanity are still ongoing and many of women and girls remain missing.

Part of Alhurra’s Raise Your Voice campaign, the report undertakes an in-depth examination of the Yazidi tragedy. With a focus on the psychological trauma afflicting the survivors who have escaped from ISIS captivity, the report features the account of a Yazidi teenager, Leila, who tells of the horrific experiences she suffered before escaping.

The report, titled “A Yazidi Girl Abducted by ISIS,” highlights the shocking brutality of ISIS when it abducted Leila and other girls as young as fourteen to become sex slaves. Leila explains how ISIS and its inhumane ideology poses a danger not only to Yazidis and Christians but also to Muslims and the entire humankind.

Alhurra’s report on the mass abuses of Yazidi women and girls succeeds in bringing awareness of the immense challenges faced by those who would otherwise continue to languish forgotten. A Kurdish government office, the High Council for Women’s
Issues in Kurdistan, addressed the topic in a seminar in Erbil, Iraq and shared the Alhurra video report with attendees from the U.S., EU and international organizations. Because Alhurra’s story on Yazidi women and girls received this recognition and draws attention to an important an ongoing tragedy facing the Yazidi people in desperate need of support, it is an excellent example of Alhurra’s impact on discourse in the Middle East related to human rights.

Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan