, 13 tweets, 13 min read Read on Twitter
I met Shereen a few days ago as the #Yazidis mark five years since ISIL’s brutality began on #Sinjar. She tries to forget the pain, but it’s difficult because of her physical and emotional scars. ISIL fighters used her as a sex slave.
She’s among an estimated 7000 #Yezidi women and girls were taken from Sinjar province - many had to endure what Shireen went through.
"I miss my daughters so much, I would give my life if I could see them again" she says holding back tears.
She's found her sons after ISIL lost its last territory in Syria - but her two daughters are still missing.
It's hard for Shereen's sons to readjust as they have forgotten their language and feel disconnected from #Yazidi culture. They speak fluent Arabic - in a Syrian dialect. After the fall of #ISIL in Baghouz, they were reunited with their mother
@NadiaMuradBasee @EzidiPress These folks in white suts are investigators trying to piece together evidence to hold ISIL accountable for what it did. Five years since the Yazidis (community was) were targeted by ISIL - mass graves are still being uncovered.
A special United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by ISIL called @UNITAD_Iraq is currently examining evidence.
@UNITAD_Iraq “We've had major successes in receiving info & evidence. We have 600,000 videos & good info from KRG & Baghdad govts” says Karim Khan, leading #UNITAD, "Best practices needed for ensuring evidence collectionin a way to preserved it and be admissible in courts all over the world"
@UNITAD_Iraq Iraq’s govt set up a forensic lab to test DNA from mass graves. They’re seeking more funds to improve & expedite their work. Matching DNA samples is complicated because comparing samples from mass graves with victims’ families - some are still in Syria & others living abroad.
@UNITAD_Iraq @IraqiGovt @WHOIraq The staff at Kabartu Camp in #Duhok told me that it isn’t just the women who were traumatized & abused as sex slaves – children (cubs of the caliphate) are a major concern. 8-9 yr olds are violent towards others, even siblings & the older children are more difficult to deal with
Children who returned from ISIL call their Yezidi families infidels. Communication is a major challenge and the only solution is patience. Brainwashed under #ISIL custody now they speak #Arabic, #Kazakh, #Russian, #Chinese and do not recognize the #Yazidi ways of doing things.
Aid workers are advising the families for maximum restraint and patience as it’s difficult to deal with their own children. Camp staff say they can offer so much help, all depends on the patience and efforts by the families to reintegrate these children
@savechildrenuk @SimonaSkm @AminataGuissey @MervynFletcher @EmmaPomfret @JessLBryant @NeridaJocelyn Many children suffering from psychological issues. It’s hard on the families who got their kids with firm beliefs in another religion & speaking another language. The psycho-social support will need to be provided for an extended period & failure can have disastrous consequences.
@savechildrenuk @SimonaSkm @AminataGuissey @MervynFletcher @EmmaPomfret @JessLBryant @NeridaJocelyn @NRC_Norway @alex_saieh @Karl_Schembri @Tom_Peyre_Costa I asked Shireen what justice does she want. She’s still not sure as her trauma haunts her. She doesn’t want to return to Sinjar.“even if they rebuild it with gold” she says “the place has horrible memories & I'd much rather wait here for my daughters - as long as that may take”
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