Iraq’s only ethnic Yazidi member of parliament says that the human rights situation in her country is “deteriorating,” with Islamic State (IS) militants kidnapping, raping, and selling Yazidi women.
“They are still without any shelter. They are sleeping on the streets. The situation is not good and the winter is [advancing], and it’s raining, actually, in Iraq [now]. So the situation is deteriorating,” legislator Vian Dakhil told RFE/RL in an October 8 telephone interview from Iraq’s Kurdish region.
Dakhil, who has been cited by U.S. President Barack Obama, was named the winner of the 2014 Anna Politkovskaya Award on October 6 by the organization Reach All Women in War. The award, named after the murdered Russian journalist, honors women working to help those trapped in conflict.
The lawmaker, who is currently recovering from injuries she suffered in an August 12 helicopter crash on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq, said that while IS militants have forced Christian women from their homes, Yazidi women often suffer worse fates.
“Only Yazidi women are kidnapped. We don’t know, actually, why exactly the Yazidi women [are targeted],” she said.