Two Iraqi Yazidi women (freed IS sex slaves) win Europe’s Sakharov prize
Two Yazidi women who escaped sexual enslavement by so-called Islamic State (IS) in Iraq have won Europe’s top human rights award, the Sakharov prize.
Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar were among thousands of Yazidi girls and women abducted by IS militants and forced into sexual slavery in 2014.
But both survived and now campaign for the Yazidi community.
The freedom of thought prize is awarded annually in memory of Andrei Sakharov, a Soviet scientist and dissident.
The two women were nominated by the liberal Alde group in the European Parliament. Group leader Guy Verhofstadt described them as “inspirational women who have shown incredible bravery and humanity in the face of despicable brutality”.
European Parliament President Martin Schulz said it was “a very symbolic and significant decision to support these two survivors who came to Europe as refugees”.
He went on: “We as [the] European parliament are now supporting them in their fight for, not only the dignity we have to grant to everybody, but also for their fight to give testimony as a witness to these atrocities.”
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