Iraqi political leaders laud Ezidi Nobel peace laureate

By Ibrahim Saleh

BAGHDAD (AA) – Iraqi President Barham Salih and Parliament Speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi on Friday both praised Nadia Murad, an Iraqi-Ezidi female activist who was awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

Earlier Friday, the Norwegian Nobel Committee jointly awarded this year’s prize to both Murad and Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynecologist.

In a statement, Salih said Murad’s winning of the coveted award was “a tribute to the Iraqis’ steadfastness in the face of violence and extremism”.

It also reflected, he added, "recognition by the international community of the tragedy suffered by Iraqi Ezidis and all victims of terrorism”.

In 2014, Murad — along with several other women and children — was captured by the Daesh terrorist group in the village of Kocho in Iraq’s Sinjar province.

She was exploited as a sex slave by Daesh terrorists before managing to escape in late 2014.

Al-Halbousi, for his part, said Murad had become “a symbol of sacrifice, courage and patience and the refusal to bow before injustice and tyranny”.

"The suffering of the Ezidis, and the Iraqi people in general, at the hands of terrorist groups demands that we all work together to erase the effects of these crimes on the social fabric,” the parliamentary speaker asserted.

A minority ethno-religious group in Iraq, Ezidis have suffered frequent persecution — most recently at the hands of the Daesh terrorist group, which overran much of the country in mid-2014.