Two Yazidi women, Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar, who escaped sexual enslavement by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Iraq, have won Europe's top human rights award, the Sakharov prize. The announcement of the year's joint laureates was made following a decision by European Parliament on 27 October 2016. The Sakharov award ceremony will be held in Strasbourg on14 December.
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Basee and Bashar were among thousands of Yazidi girls and women abducted by ISIS militants and forced into sexual slavery in 2014. But, both survived and now campaign for the Yazidi community.
The two women were nominated by S&D and the liberal ALDE group in the European Parliament.
Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar
Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar are advocates for the Yazidi community and for women surviving sexual enslavement by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. They are both from Kocho, one of the villages near Sinjar, Iraq, which was taken over by ISIS in 2014.
They are public advocates for the Yazidi community in Iraq, a religious minority that has been the subject of a genocidal campaign by IS militants. Murad is also a promoter for recognition of the Yazidi genocide.
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The Sakharov Prize, officially known as the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is annually awarded by the European Parliament. It was established in December 1988 to honour individuals and groups of people who have dedicated their lives to the defense of human rights and fundamental freedoms. It is awarded annually awarded in memory of Andrei Sakharov, a Soviet scientist and dissident.