ISIS has singled out the Yezidi minority, notably its women and children, for particularly brutal treatment. In August 2014, ISIS fighters abducted hundreds, possibly thousands, of Yezidi men, women and children who were fleeing the IS takeover from the Sinjar region, in the north-west of the country. Hundreds of the men were killed and others were forced to convert to Islam under threat of death. Younger women and girls, some as young as 12, were separated from their parents and older relatives and sold, given as gifts or forced to marry ISIS fighters and supporters.
Madline was 17 years old when she was kidnapped by ISIS in her hometown of Sinjar, Iraq in August 2014. She was held for 3 months before she and the other Yazidi women were able to escape.
The weather in our region was lovely, especially in spring. Everything was green, gardens were in bloom.
My life was simply perfect before ISIS seized Sinjar. I went to school. I had a mum and dad, brothers and sisters. We weren’t rich but our life was beautiful.
I remember when they entered Mosul. People talking about it. It was all over Facebook. I didn’t believe they’d ever come to Sinjar.
They entered Sinjar on August 3rd. They had beards and long hair. They just looked horrifying. They said, “Convert to Islam or die.” We said we didn’t want to convert, we just wanted to leave. They tore our mothers away and said they’d bring them back in the afternoon. But we never saw them again.
We searched the house and found a cell phone in the closet. We called one person, and he said he’d send a car from Mosul, once we escape. It was 3am, and the doors were locked. Both guards were sleeping downstairs. The three of us opened the window. We ran for some time and then changed into black robes, and called the driver, and waiting until morning. The driver came and took us home.
Honestly, I just wait for the day when the rest come back from ISIS. I pray for them.
As told to documentary makers at Russia Today.