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Long road to justice for Yazidis who escaped IS

Yazidi women who were once held captive by the Islamic State still struggle to have their voices heard in Iraqi courtrooms, where their captors are being tried.
Haifa, a 36-year-old woman from Iraq's Yazidi community who was taken as a sex slave by Islamic State group fighters, stands on a street during an interview with AFP journalists in the northern Iraqi city of Dohuk on November 17, 2016.
Haifa and her family were among thousands of members of the Yazidi minority shown no mercy by IS when it swept through areas north and west of the Iraqi capital in 2014. As the extremists advanced, they was singled out for especially cruel persecution in a campaign of violenc

DAHUK, Kurdistan Region of Iraq — When Hayat was captured from Sinjar by the Islamic State in August 2014, the militants thought that the petite Yazidi woman with a girly face was much younger than 19. To ensure that IS wouldn’t sell her as a slave, Hayat pretended to be deaf and mute. She assumed IS fighters weren’t interested in handicapped girls.

She turned out to be right. The first couple of months, Hayat wasn’t separated from her family or sold as a "sabiyya," or sex slave. But then somebody blew her cover. That’s when her nightmare really began.

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