Testifying before members of the U.S. Congress Tuesday, a 31-year-old Yazidi woman, who had endured nine months of torture in the hands of ISIS, described her ordeal in the hands of her captors.
Using the pseudonym Shireen, the woman spoke through a translator before a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing focusing on the genocide in Iraq and Syria. According to The Christian Post, the woman said that her ordeal was “like hell.”
In a written testimony, Shireen described how her life had been peaceful with family and friends up until August 3, 2014, when she heard gunshots in the distance. Discovering that the shots were from approaching ISIS troops, she and her family chose to flee toward the Sinjar mountains. But their car broke down at is it began to ascend the mountain. They were eventually captured.
“We were ordered and threatened by ISIS militants to get off the trucks they had loaded us into. After we stepped out of the trucks, the militants shot three bullets into a young Yazidi man’s head, killing him because he said he wanted to wait for his family to arrive,” she said in her written testimony.
“ISIS militants separated Yazidi girls [from] the rest of us by force. My sister, Sahera, was about 15 years old and she was the second girl that was taken. … I was crying and begging them to not take her. One of the militants hit my back with his weapon. Then they forced us all into buses and took us to Badoosh jail.”
Shireen described the jail as dirty, with blood “everywhere on the floor.” The jail was hit by a U.S. Coalition airstrike, forcing her and others to be transported to Tal Afar district.
Shireen was eventually sold to a person from Raqqa, Syria. She was tortured in Raqqa because she refused to speak.
“From Raqqa they sold me again to a person from Mosul city,” she said. “I was sold and bought for more than five times. … I spent nine months in captivity under ISIS; it was like hell,” she said.
During her captivity, Shireen was taken into a room where ISIS militants performed an abdominal surgery on her. Reports indicate that ISIS customarily is performing operations on people to sell their body parts illegally.
“[U]ntil now, I am suffering from the effects of it,” she said. “I don’t know why they operated on me or what kind of a procedure was done on my body.”
Shireen explained that although she somehow escaped from ISIS captivity, her 19 family members are still enslaved by them.
“They may be killed or still in captivity but we don’t know anything about them,” she said. “Many countries including the United States and the United Nations recognized the Yazidi genocide, however, our hope was there will be steps following that to provide justice and protection for my people. We are still waiting for action and the liberation of thousands of Yazidis from ISIS captivity. Today, in the liberated areas of Yazidi homeland, there are more than 40 mass graves.” She said.
What do you think? Please pray for the Yazidis and Christians who are enslaved by ISIS militants. Find out what’s trending in news about surprising details revealed of the girlfriend of the Las Vegas shooter.