Kurz asks Isis survivor to be OSCE ambassador

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Kurz asks Isis survivor to be OSCE ambassador
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Nadia Murad. Photo: UN/Eskinder Debebe

Austria’s Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz has invited a young Yazidi woman who was trafficked as a sex slave by the so-called Islamic State to be a “Goodwill Ambassador” for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).


Kurz met 23-year-old Nadia Murad at the UN summit on refugees in New York. He said that he was struck by Murad’s "impressive personality" and shocked by what she had been though.

Murad was born in Iraq, in a village where Christians and Muslims lived harmoniously as neighbours. In August 2014 Isis attacked her village, and began its genocidal campaign against the Yazidi people - one of Iraq’s oldest minorities.

Six of Nadia’s nine brothers were executed on the spot. Nadia and her two sisters were taken captive along with thousands of other Yazidis, and held by Isis as sex slaves. She was raped and tortured on a daily basis and when she was caught trying to escape she was severely beaten. She finally did manage to escape and was able to flee to Germany.

She has since been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work to help those victimised by genocide, mass atrocities and human trafficking. She has just been appointed a UN Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking.

Austria takes over the chairmanship of the OSCE in 2017 - and Kurz has said that one focus will be the prevention of radicalization and stopping violence against women.



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