BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:15 A.M.) – Nineteen-year-old Yazidi woman Ashwaq Haji Hamid spoke at a refugee camp in the Sheikhan district, Friday, about why she had left Germany, after encountering her former captor of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) outside a Netto supermarket in Schwaebisch Gmuend.
Hamid had been abducted, abused and sold into slavery by members of IS in the Sinjar region of Iraq in 2014.
“The worst time in my life was the moment when they [IS] separated me from my family. This is the worst thing that happened to me in my whole life, we were girls when we were arrested and 77 persons were arrested in our house, from sisters, brothers, cousins, brother in laws, I mean there was not one person left that was not kidnapped,” recounted Hamid.
She tried to convince her captor Abu Hamam to set her free, but he allegedly told her that he received “orders” saying that Yazidi women had to be married.
Hamid and a number of other women escaped when their captors fell asleep. Eventually, they got a place on a programme to leave their homeland and start a new life in Germany
Upon arrival to Germany, Hamid was placed into a refugee shelter in Baden-Wuerttemberg.
She says the first time she bumped into the perpetrator was in Stuttgart in 2016 on her way home from school.
She said, “when I saw him again for the first time I was going back home from school, I realised someone is following me so I was thinking it’s impossible that an IS member could have found out where I live, especially someone who had tortured me.”
A second encounter happened this year in February in Schwaebisch Gmuend.
She said, “He said ‘are you Ashwaq?’ I looked at him and said ‘no I’m not Ashwaq.’ He was wearing sunglasses so he took them off and told me ‘yes I know you are Ashwaq and I know you.’ After he took off his sunglasses I was shocked and shaking inside but did not know what to do! All I was thinking about was getting rid of him and escaping from him. An ISIS guy in a country in Europe where there is freedom for everyone, was not believable to me. He could have kidnapped me again and no one would know anything about me.”
Hamid says she reported the matter to the police, but decided to return to Iraq as she felt they did not provide an adequate response. “I would not lose my dignity to be in Germany, I’ve put my life on the line to escape from ISIS here to keep my dignity,” she said.
The Federal Prosecutor Office in Karlsruhe confirmed to Ruptly that they had worked on the case but it “was not possible to identify a specific person” by the description given.
They added that they wanted to question the girl further but that she had left Germany.
“Nonetheless, we continue to investigate crimes under the International Criminal Code,” added the office.