In her acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize, Yazidi Nadia Murad recalled that "as a survivor, I am grateful for this opportunity to draw international attention to the situation of the Yazidí people, who have suffered unimaginable crimes since the Islamic State (IS) genocide that began in 2014.
"Many Yazidis will look at this award and think of the relatives who have lost, yet to be counted, and the 1,3000 women and children who remain in captivity. Like many minority groups, the Yazidis carry the burden of persecution historically. Women, in particular, have suffered a lot, as they have been and continue to be victims of sexual violence," Murad said.
"Personally, I am thinking of my mother, who was killed by the IS, the children I grew up with, and what we should do for them. The persecution of minorities must end. We must work together with a determination to show that genocidal campaigns will not only fail, but will also hold their perpetrators accountable and that there will also be justice for the survivors," she added.
Emphasizing the need to continue fighting to prevent this genocide from happening again, Murad said everyone must remain committed to rebuilding communities devastated by genocide. Survivors deserve a safe path to their homes or anywhere else. The whole world must support efforts to focus on humanity and overcoming political and cultural divisions. "Not only must we imagine a better future for persecuted women, children and minorities, but we must also work consistently to make that happen; prioritizing humanity, not war," she said.
Murad has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize alongside Congolese gynaecologist Denis Mukwege, a doctor who has dedicated his life to helping women who have suffered sexual violence.
The Democratic Autonomous Council of Shengal, a Yazidi-majority region, congratulated Murad on the award.
In a written statement, the council noted that the young Yazidi "managed to free herself from the IS fighters who held her captive" and then "told the world about the massacres and torture to which the Yazidi people were subjected to."
The text recalled that Yazidis "have been subjected to attacks and massacres throughout history. For the first time, the world was aware of the suffering of the Yazidis. Nadia Murad courageously recounted what they endured in the torture, attacks and repression of women.
"Thousands of women remain imprisoned in the hands of the IS. We hope that the genocide against the Yazidis will be recognised. Shengal's autonomy must be recognized," the statement concluded.