The European Parliament has awarded the 2016 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to two Izadi women who had escaped sexual enslavement by the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in Iraq.
During a ceremony at the European Parliament in the French city of Strasbourg on Tuesday, Nadia Murad, 23, and Lamiya Aji Bashar, 18, received the award.
Murad and Bashar were among thousands of women and girls abducted and tortured by Daesh militants after the terrorists rounded up Izadis in the village of Kocho, near Sinjar, in northwest Iraq, back in 2014.
In her acceptance speech, Bashar narrated her ordeal at the hands of Daesh and noted that the terror outfit still holds over 3,500 children and women hostage, saying, “Every day they die a thousand times."
“I believe I can be a voice to the victims. And the Sakharov Prize gives me great strength and this is why I have taken the decision to become a voice for the voiceless." She added.
Murad accused Daesh of having committed “mass genocide” and called for the international prosecution of the perpetrators.
“This genocide did not only consist of killings, it also sought to enslave women in a systematic manner and to take children,” she said.
Meanwhile, President of European Parliament Martin Schulz said the two “fight for those left behind. They fight against impunity and for justice."
Murad, who was held by Daesh in Mosul, escaped her captors in November 2014. Bashar also fled in March, but she was badly disfigured when a landmine went off as she escaped.
Izadis are followers of an ancient religion practiced by more than half a million people in northern Iraq.
Since June 2014, Daesh militants have committed heinous crimes against all ethnic and religious communities in Iraq, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and Christians.