A Yazidi teenage girl who was sold into slavery by ISIS and managed to escape to Germany says she has come face-to-face with her former captor on the streets of Germany.
Ashwaq was one of the thousands of Yazidi women ISIS took as sex slaves in Iraq. She was only 14 when she was sold for $100 to a man named Abu Humam.
After three months of being raped and beaten, Ashwaq escaped, fleeing with her mother and brother as refugees to Germany.
She spoke to the BBC about the encounter:
A few months ago, on the street outside a supermarket, she heard someone call out her name.
Ashwaq told the BBC: “On the way back to school a car pulled up next to me. He was sitting in the front seat. He talked to me in German and asked: ‘Are you Ashwaq?’ I was so scared I was shaking. I said: ‘No, who are you?'”
She said he then replied: “I know you are Ashwaq, and I am Abu Humam.”
Ashwaq said he then started to talk to her in Arabic and told her not to lie to him.
“I know you, he said. And where you live and who you live with. He knew everything about my life in Germany.”
Germany’s federal prosecutor says Ashwaq reported the incident to the police five days after she said it took place. Ashwaq says she told investigators everything, including her harrowing experiences in Iraq.
Officers made an e-fit of the suspect and told her to contact the police immediately if she saw Abu Humam again.
Frauke Köhler, a spokeswoman for Germany’s top court, says police made every effort to locate Abu Humam after the incident, but were unable to find him.
Ashwaq, fearing that she would run into her ISIS captor again and wishing to reunite with her sisters who had been rescued from ISIS, decided to return to northern Iraq. She is currently applying to live in Australia through a special program for women abducted by ISIS.
Alarmingly, her case may not be isolated. Düzen Tekkal from Hawar.Help, a Berlin-based organization that campaigns for Yazidi rights, says she has heard of several cases where female Yazidi refugees recognized IS fighters in Germany.
Although Ashwaq is back in a Yazidi camp in Kurdistan, she is scarred by what happened in Germany.
“If the world was destroyed, I would not go to Germany again,” she said.