My thoughts & prayers are with families & friends of the victims of today`s terrorist attack in #Westminster/UK

The International Community must do more to fight terrorism & extremism. Terrorists must be held accountable for their crimes everywhere in the world. 

When we see no justice for victims of genocide committed by ISIS criminals for more than two years and half, then we should expect more attacks by the same criminals and their allies not just in Iraq, UK, EU, USA but everywhere in the world. 

We stand together🇬🇧#PrayForLondon

Nadia Murad

Fast Company Names Yazda One of The Top 10 Social Good Companies.

Fast Company Names Yazda One of The Top 10 Social Good Companies.

Yazda is an organization born from tragedy. After ISIS systematically attacked, enslaved, raped, and murdered the Yazidi people in northern Iraq beginning in 2014—in what now has been called a genocide by the United Nations, the European parliament, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry—a group of activists of Yazidi heritage came together in the U.S. to advocate for the rights, safety, and wellbeing of their people.

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Press Release: Arrest Warrant against ISIS militant in Germany recognizes crimes committed against Yazidis as genocide

In December 2016, the Supreme Court of Germany authorised the issuance of an arrest warrant against an ISIS commander who is allegedly responsible for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated against the Yazidi minority in Syria and Iraq. The ISIS commander – whose name will not be disclosed for the time being – was identified for prosecution by the German Federal Prosecutor’s Office. He is said to be high-ranking and responsible for the abduction and sexual enslavement of Yazidi women. 

In August 2014, ISIS attacked the Sinjar region in Northern Iraq, homeland to the Yazidis, a peaceful minority targeted by ISIS because of their ancient religion. Thousands of men and older women were executed on the spot, while girls were captured to become “sex slaves” and young boys kidnapped and trained to be child soldiers. Over 360,000 Yazidis were displaced in a matter of days.

Over two and a half years later, more than 3,000 Yazidis remain in ISIS captivity. The United Nations has recognised that the crimes committed by ISIS against the Yazidis amount to genocide. But to date, no member of ISIS has been indicted or tried anywhere in the world for these atrocities.

This arrest warrant is an opportunity to change that. Amal Clooney, counsel to Yazda, Nadia Murad and other Yazidi ISIS survivors, congratulates the German Federal Prosecutor Christian Ritscher and his team for this achievement. It is hoped that the perpetrator can now be arrested and brought to trial. And that prosecutors in other countries show a similar commitment to holding members of ISIS accountable through their courts, where there is jurisdiction to do so.

The Oxi Day Battle of Crete Award

The Oxi Day Battle of Crete Award

When I said no to ISIS, they threatened me and perhaps one day I might pay a heavy price too.

But this is what defines us as humans. We have to stand for what is right. We have to say no to rapists, murderers, racists, and anyone or any regime wishes to deprive us of our humanity. 

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For Immediate Release: A Statement by Nadia Murad on 2016 Sakharov Prize Award

Nadia Murad and Lamiya Aji Bashar, two Yazidi survivors of enslavement by the Islamic State (ISIS) have been awarded the 2016 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. The prize, established in 1988, recognizes those who have made an “exceptional contribution to the fight for human rights across the globe.  Ms. Murad and Ms. Bashar have been campaigning for the survivors of the Yazidi genocide since their escape.

Following is Ms. Murad’s statement on receiving the prize: 

“It is with great honor, on behalf of thousands of kidnapped Yazidi women and girls and on behalf of all victims of the Yazidi Genocide that Lamiya and I accept the Sakharov Prize,” Ms. Murad said. “We and the Yazidi people are grateful to the European Parliament and to the people and member states of the European Union for their solidarity.

“This acknowledgment of the suffering of Yazidi women and the Yazidi people is a profound message to the ISIS terrorist group that their criminal inhumanity is condemned and their victims are honored by the free world. It is also a message from Europe to the world that Europe cares about human values and human dignity.

This award is a powerful message from the democratically elected representatives in Europe to our people and particularly to the more than 6,700 women, girls, and children who became victims of slavery and human trafficking under ISIS, that the genocide will not be repeated. 

The Yazidi community is almost completely displaced with little hope for the future. Safe zones for Yazidis and other vulnerable communities are needed so that girls like Lamiya and myself do not find themselves again facing hopelessness and despair. 

We have asked the United Nations Security Council to request that the International Criminal Court investigate the crimes committed by ISIS against the Yazidis with a view to prosecute. No perpetrators have been charged for their crimes in Iraq and Syria on the Yazidi Genocide.  We will continue to work to make sure that ISIS is brought to justice for its crimes against vulnerable communities and particularly against women and girls. 

We are grateful to all members of the European Parliament for their support, particularly the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats who nominated us, as well as Beatriz Becerra MEP for initiating the process.  This recognition has put light in our hearts and given us more strength to continue.”

Note for Editors:

Nadia Murad Basee Taha: 
Nadia is a 23-year-old Yazidi former ISIS captive and UN Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. ISIS murdered 6 of her brothers in a massacre at Kocho, Iraq on 15 August 2014, kidnapped all the women in her family, subsequently murdered her mother.

She is working with Yazda and International Human Rights lawyer Amal Clooney to persuade the International Criminal Court to open an investigation regarding ISIS crimes. 

The Yazidis are a religious minority based mainly in northern Iraq and have a 6, 000 year old culture. Their religion is an ancient religion unconnected to any other. ISIS launched a genocidal attack on the Yazidi community in August 2014, justified by falsely declaring Yazidis to be 'devil worshippers'. 

Genocide by ISIS: 
In the ISIS campaign of genocide captured Yazidi men and male teenagers were immediately murdered, younger boys sent for indoctrination as future ISIS fighters, young women and girls kidnapped as sex slaves while the middle aged and older women were subsequently murdered. 

Quick Facts: 
In summary approximately 5000 Yazidis were massacred, 6700 abducted and 90% of the Yazidi community displaced to refugee camps, mostly in Kurdistan, Iraq. Some 3,400 women and children remain in ISIS captivity either as sex slaves or undergoing brainwashing as future ISIS fighters; many are now deployed as human shields.  An estimated 2,576 Yazidi women and children have escaped or been rescued from ISIS captivity, of whom 1,100 have been brought to Germany for counselling and therapy. More than 45 mass graves have been discovered to date, others to be discovered in the remaining ISIS occupied Yazidi homeland in Sinjar and Nineveh. Some 42 Yazidi religious sites have been destroyed, numerous graveyards desecrated and Yazidi property plundered. 


Contact Information:

Murad Ismael
Yazda Executive Director / Nadia’s Campaign Manager
Phone: +1.832.638.4348 





For Immediate Release: Letter from Nadia Murad and Yazda on Parliamentry motion on Yazidis

Dear Members of Parliament,

I am honoured to write to you today. It is my understanding that on October 25th, 2016 there will be a vote to recognize the Yazidi Genocide and support receiving Yazidi women, girls and children who become victims of ISIS sexual enslavement. I am currently in Ottawa to witness the vote and to meet with Members of Parliament.

Supporting the vote on October 25th is personally important to me as a girl who found herself hopeless in the hands of terrorists. Your support for the motion would be a positive message to my people who live with the genocide every day.

The Yazidis need the support of Canada. More than 350,000 people now live in refugee camps across Iraq, Greece, Syria, and Turkey. This number constitutes more than 80 percent of the entire Yazidi population. Every refugee lives in difficult conditions. But for the women and girls who were subjected to systematic rape and torture at the hands of ISIS, the situation is even more dire. In the refugee camps, they are not provided any special care which would help them recover. They live in poverty without access to health care or psychological support.

Germany is the only country in the world that has offered a new life to 1,100 women and children. I am one of those women. I will be forever grateful to Germany for this step. The Yazidis you help through this motion will in turn be forever grateful to you and to Canada.

It is not possible to turn away from the crimes ISIS has committed against the Yazidis. The United Nations officially recognized it as genocide. The government of Canada, along with the UN, European Union, the UK, and the US, have all recognized our case. By supporting this measure, you are sending a powerful message to Yazidis and victims of terrorism everywhere that you feel their pain and recognize their suffering. To ISIS, you are sending the message that their crimes will not go unnoticed by the rest of the world.

From the bottom of my heart, I ask you to help. At this time, the most immediate way you can help us is by agreeing on this bipartisan motion which will recognize the genocide and support the relocation of less than 2,000 Yazidis – women and girls who survived enslavement, and their families. Our people have been nearly destroyed by ISIS. We have no choice but to ask countries like Canada to help us, countries that have the compassion to understand the cries of the persecuted.

We, Yazidis and victims of ISIS, look to you to give new hope to the hopeless.

Within each person is infinite possibility for good, even amidst the tragedy I’ve witnessed. I know this. From the ashes of this war, our people will respond to your help with unending gratitude and generosity.

All we want is to live in peace. I have called on the international community to give us that right. Canada is a beautiful place, filled with open minded, thoughtful, and compassionate people. Please rise to this reputation by voting for the proposed motion.

Yours sincerely,

Nadia Murad
Yazidi Survivor of Genocide and Human Trafficking UN Goodwill Ambassador