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A German sex slave reveals her ordeal in the hands of ISIS

Saturday 23/February/2019 - 12:46 PM
The Reference
Shimaa Hafzy
طباعة

A former Yazidi sex slave who escaped to Germany but fled the country when she met her ISIS captor on the street has been pictured back in a refugee camp in Iraq.


A German sex slave

Ashwaq Ta'lo started a new life in Europe after she was kidnapped and abused at the age of 15, but revealed her captor, Abu Humam, had stopped her in the street and said he knew where she lived.

Now back in Iraq, Ashwaq said she 'wanted to leave Germany immediately' after the encounter in Stuttgart and said she 'felt better staying in a refugee camp' with her father. 

German police are investigating but said they had not yet been able to identify the man with certainty and said progress had stalled because they could not speak to Ashwaq.

Describing the encounter, she said: 'Someone stopped me in my stride. It was a bearded man. I froze when I looked at his face carefully.

'He looked cleaner in European casual clothes and without his Afghan attire but he had the same scary beard and ugly face

'I was speechless when he started speaking in German to me, asking 'You're Ashwaq, aren't you?' I was more than terrified.

'I was so scared, very scared. I was so scared I just wanted to go back home to my father in Iraq. I wanted to leave Germany immediately.'

She said in a video she had pretended to be Turkish after he had spoken to her in German and Arabic and told her: 'I know where you live'.

Two months later Ashwaq left Germany and returned to live with her father in the refugee camp in Kurdish Iraq.

Ashwaq back in the refugee camp where she said she would never go back to live in Germany   

Ashwaq back in the refugee camp where she said she would never go back to live in Germany


A German sex slave

Her father, 53-year-old Haji Hamid Ta'lo, said: 'I'm not happy that Ashwaq is back here in Iraq to live with me in a refugee camp along with 2276 or so people without electricity, without comfort, without any hope.

'Why should I be glad about that? It's a terrible catastrophe but, it's the will of God.'

Last Friday marked the fourth anniversary of the Yazidi genocide, when ISIS stormed into the Sinjar region of Iraq, home to hundreds of thousands of Yazidis, and slaughtered thousands.

Ashwaq's father said the family had been unable to flee the advancing terrorists who ordered them to convert to Islam.

She and other family members were driven to Shaddadiya in Syria where they were put in a three-storey building under the watchful eyes of the ISIS militants.

Ashwaq was sold to by Abu Humam, forced to convert to Islam, pray everyday five times and memorise the Quran in Arabic.

'I did all that because he promised not to hurt me; but he abused me for more than 10 months, every single day,' she said. 

She said she had slipped pills into her captors' food to escape in the middle of the night, walking for 14 hours to Mount Sinjar where other Yazidis had found safety.

She moved to Germany in June 2015, started to go to school and learn the German language and was provided with medical and psychological care and treatment.

But although her mother had told her that 'this is Germany and no one could ever hurt you' she revealed she was so scared by her meeting with her former captor that she could not stay in the country.

'I'm very happy I left Germany and Abu Human in it. I was terrified when I recognised him and will never return to live there.

'I'm not doing anything at the moment but I feel better staying in a refugee camp in Iraq than living in Germany.'

Ashwaq pictured in Stuttgart, Germany, where she was confronted by her captor Abu Humam     

Ashwaq pictured in Stuttgart, Germany, where she was confronted by her captor Abu Humam

Ashwaq, now 18, had claimed she went to police who could not go after the man because he was also a registered refugee. 

But police in Baden-Württemberg, the south-west German state which includes Stuttgart, said an investigation had been opened.

They said on Twitter: 'The state police began a criminal investigation on March 13. It cannot be continued at the moment because the witness is not available to answer questions.'

A spokesman for federal prosecutors told NTV that they had pursued the matter but had not yet been able to identify the man with sufficient certainty. 

Ashwaq is back in northern Iraq with her mother and brother, but living in fear because she says Abu Humam has family in Baghdad.

She wears black in a sign of mourning for five brothers and a sister still missing since their own capture by IS.

Her father said: 'When her mother told me that she'd seen that jihadist... I told them to come back because Germany was obviously no longer a safe place for them.'

Ashwaq Ta'lo (pictured in a Facebook video) said she met her ISIS captor after fleeing to Germany following three months of captivity and sexual slavery in Syria  

Ashwaq Ta'lo (pictured in a Facebook video) said she met her ISIS captor after fleeing to Germany following three months of captivity and sexual slavery in Syria

Speaking in a Facebook video Ashwaq said many Yazidi girls who had fled to Europe had later encountered the men who had put them in captivity.

She said she had a friend in nearby Stuttgart who had also seen her former captor.

The UN has declared the killing of the Yazidi people by ISIS as genocide with many women raped by jihadi fighters.

Some 7,000 Yazidi women and girls were forced into sexual slavery when the militia took over the community's heartland in Sinjar, northern Iraq, and slaughtered 5,000 people.

Earlier this year a German intelligence chief warned of the 'massive danger' posed by women and children returning 'brainwashed' from fighting with ISIS.

Hans-Georg Maassen said in February that Germany should consider repealing laws restricting surveillance of minors under the age of 14 to prepare for the increased risk of attacks by children as young as nine

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