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Girl rescued after being kidnapped at 8, sold in ISIS slave markets


The nightmare ordeal of a Yazidi girl abducted by IS terrorists in 2014 when she was 8 years old and repeatedly sold between families as a slave has come to an end after she managed to contact a member of her family on social media from a refugee camp.

Rosita Haji Baju, now 16, was terrified that if she revealed her past she would face further abuse and instead sought help on social media, desperate to find a relative she could warn of his ordeal.

His nightmare began in August 2014 when the Islamic State invaded Shengal (Sinjar), Iraq, from the nearby city of Mosul and the Iraqi army fled. Men from her community were killed and thousands of women and children were abducted, including Rosita who was only 8 years old at the time.

Rosita Haji Baju, 16, was recently rescued from Al-Hawl refugee camp in Syria after being abducted by Islamic State (IS) on August 3, 2014, when she was 8 years old.
@Malaezdiyan/Zenger

She ended up with her mother in Raqa in Syria where they were sold to an Algerian she named Abu Islam. She said her mother was raped by her brother and killed herself shortly afterwards.

Rosita herself was then sold several times between different families as a slave and in March 2019, when the Islamic State was overthrown in Baghouz, Syria, she ended up in a refugee camp with families from the Islamic State. She was 13 at the time.

“Several times I wanted to tell the camp leader that I was a Yazidi girl, but I was afraid that our society would not accept me,” Rosita said.

She said she had also been threatened by extremists not to tell her story or reveal who she was.

Girl rescued after being kidnapped at 8, sold in ISIS slave markets
Rosita Haji Baju, 16, was recently rescued from Al-Hawl refugee camp in Syria after being abducted by Islamic State (IS) on August 3, 2014, when she was 8 years old.
zenger

Hussein Kuru, head of the Yazidi Kidnapped Affairs Bureau in Duhok, Iraq, told Shafaq News Agency that Rosita would soon arrive in the Kurdistan region.

“Operations to locate the abductees are underway in al-Hol camp and other territories inside Syria,” he said. “The federal government has not contributed to the release of the abductees. We have asked for help several times, but Baghdad has not taken any steps so far.”

He concluded by saying that “more than 3,500 Yazidi children and women, out of a total of 6,400, have been released so far.”

ISIS subjected the Yazidis of Sinjar (Shengal) to a campaign of genocide starting in August 2014. Thousands of people were killed and hundreds of thousands were displaced, most of whom fled to the region of Kurdistan.

Many have been victims of atrocities and mass executions at the hands of the extremist group for years. The Islamic State enslaved women and girls, kidnapped children, forced religious conversions, executed men, and abused, sold and trafficked women and girls in areas it controlled in Iraq and in Syria.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.


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