Militants holding over 3,000 Yazidis hostage: Activist

AFP , Wednesday 30 Dec 2015

Nadia Murad Basee Taha
Iraqi Yazidi Nadia Murad Basee Taha, center, shakes hands with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos before their meeting in Athens, on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015 (Photo: AP)

Militants in Iraq and Syria are holding over 3,000 Yazidi hostages, a Yazidi activist once imprisoned by the Islamic State (ISIS) militants said Wednesday.

"At this moment there are 3,400 people in detention who are Syrian or Iraqi," Nadia Murad Basee Taha told Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos during a visit to Athens.

"I call on you to convey my voice to the European Union because thousands of women and small children continue to be held hostage," said the 21-year-old Taha, a member of one of the Iraqi minorities hardest hit by militants atrocities.

Taha was abducted by ISIS militants in August 2014 from her village in Iraq and held for three months, during which time she was used as a sex slave.

She managed to escape to Germany and on December 16 told the United Nations Security Council that ISIS "has made Yazidi women into flesh to be trafficked in."

The Yazidis are neither Muslims nor Arabs and follow a unique faith despised by ISIS militants group. The Kurdish-speaking minority is mostly based around Sinjar mountain in northern Iraq.

In 2014, ISIS militants massacred Yazidis, forced tens of thousands of them to flee, and captured thousands of girls and women as spoils of war.

The UN has said the atrocities committed against the small community may amount to genocide.

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