Not revenge, but justice

Not revenge, but justice

Already met the Pope: Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad © N.N.

She has experienced terrible things, but still seems strong. Now the Yazidi Nadia Murad receives the Nobel Peace Prize. Who is the woman who has been fighting for justice since she fled to Germany and told Pope Francis about it??

She had to endure unimaginable horrors, but never let her tormentors break her down. Now the 25-year-old Iraqi Yazidi, who fled to Germany to escape the terrorist militia "Islamic State" (IS), is being honored with the Nobel Peace Prize – together with Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege (63). The reason for the award is her tireless work against sexual violence as a weapon of war, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced in Oslo on Friday.

Victims of IS

Murad's notoriety stems from her horrific fate as an IS victim – and her way of dealing with it publicly. She grew up in Kocho in Iraq's Sinjar region, where she was abducted by IS forces in August 2014. Their mother and six brothers died in the attack on the village. In the Mol area, she was taken captive, enslaved, raped, humiliated.

After three months, the young woman was able to flee. In a refugee camp, she heard about a special program that the government of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg had set up for about 1.000 traumatized women and children from Iraq and Syria – all victims of IS. She actually ended up in Germany – in a contingent that was supposed to deal with the horrors of trauma in southwestern Germany, shielded from the public eye.

Since then, Murad's life has changed radically, but quite differently than expected. For it is now fighting for the recognition of the IS acts as genocide and for the freedom of other Yazidis who still have to suffer under the terror of the fanatics. With success.

Because with Nadia Murad, the victims of the Islamist reign of terror got a face. "Almost every affected family has lost one or two people to the killings or enslavement of IS," she stressed when she was awarded the EU Parliament's Sakharov Prize for Human Rights together with Lamija Aji Bashar in 2016.

Special ambassador against human trafficking

In September 2016, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon appointed her as a special ambassador against human trafficking, citing her courage to now publicly fight against such crimes after facing abuse and human rights violations. Since then, the activist has repeatedly taken the opportunity to speak out in a high-profile manner.

For example, during a speech in the Baden-Wurttemberg state parliament, where she spoke calmly about her family and thanked the state for accepting her. In doing so, she explained what her personal drive was: she survived to speak out about the crimes of IS; she does not want revenge, but justice.

Visit to the Pope

In the end, all deputies stood up and applauded. In May 2017, Murad visited Pope Francis at the Vatican to tell him about her work. All this is a lot for a young woman who comes from a strictly patriarchal culture and has experienced unspeakable things.

Jan Kizilhan, a trauma therapist living in Villingen-Schwenningen who played a key role in the German aid program for Yezidis launched in 2015, called the Nobel Peace Prize for Murad a "wonderful decision". "She receives the award on behalf of the thousands of women who have been raped or killed by IS," he told the Catholic News Agency (KNA) on Friday. "Nadia Murad is a great woman who represents the Yezidi people like no other." Nobel Prize award is a powerful symbol against terror, she said.

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Christina Cherry
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