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Nadia Murad Basee, a 21-year-old Iraqi woman of the Yazidi faith, speaks to members of the Security Council during a meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York. VOA

October 27, 2016: Two Yazidi women from Iraq who were abducted by Islamic State militants in 2014 have been awarded the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought and expression.

Nadia Murad and Lamis Haji Bashar are two out of thousands of Yazidi women who have been kidnapped and used as sexual slaves by the radical Islamist group. They were taken from their village near Sinjar in northwest Iraq during the summer of 2014.


The two women are now considered leaders in the movement to protect other Yazidis living in regions overrun by IS fighters and have called for the recognition of the massacre of Yazidis as a genocide.

The award is named for Andrei Sakharov, a dissident Soviet scientist who died in 1989, and is given each year to people who stand up for human rights.

The IS militants consider Yazidis to be devil-worshippers and inferior in their religious beliefs. (VOA)


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