‘You destroyed my life’: Former sex slave confronts her Isis rapist in TV interview

Gemma Fox
Abu Hamam refuses to meet the gaze of the woman he beat and raped on a daily basis: Iraqi Media Network

Ashraq Haji Hamid was just 14 when she was abducted by Isis, separated from her family, and sold on for 100 dollars as a sex slave.

Five years later, she bravely confronts the man who bought her and violently raped her “several times a day”.

In an emotionally charged interview, Ms Hamid describes the horror of her ordeal before her captor Abu Hamam is brought on set, for her to question.

“Abu Humam, look up. Why did you do this to me? Why? Because I’m Yazidi?

“I was 14 years old when you raped me. Look up. Do you have feelings? Do you have honour?” she asks him.

Abu Hamam stands in front of her, handcuffed in yellow prison uniform. He is currently in custody in Iraq, but the authorities allowed Ms Hamid to confront her rapist on television.

Head bowed, Abu Hamam refuses to meet her gaze and does not answer her.

“I was 14 years old, as old as your daughter, your son, or your sister,” she continues.

“You destroyed my life. You robbed me of all my dreams. I was once held by Isis, by you, but now you will feel the meaning of torment, torture, and loneliness.

“If you have any feelings, you would not have raped me when I was 14, the age of your son, the age of your daughter.”

Ms Hamid then collapses to the ground.

This is not the first time that Ms Hamid has seen her rapist since she escaped from Isis capture. A few years after she fled to Germany in 2015 to start a new life, Abu Hamam stopped her in the street in Stuttgart and told her he knew where she lived.

Yazidi woman Ashraq Haji Hamid is unable to hold back the tears as she questions the man who bought her as a sex slave (Iraqi Media Network)

She then fled Germany in 2018 and returned to Iraq to escape Abu Hamam, who was later handed over to Iraqi security services when he returned to the country as well.

In the interview aired on Iraqi TV channel Al-Iraqiya, Ms Hamid recounts how after the raid on Sinjar, Isis members separated the Yazidis and sold off the women and girls to fighters in Syria and Iraq.

“We were worried and didn’t know what would become of us, and whether we would be killed or not,” she tells the interviewer.

“However, we took some comfort in being together – we would either live together or die together. But then they separated us from one another.”

She says she was among 300-400 Yazidi girls and women, aged nine years and above, who were then taken to Mosul to be sold. Most of her sisters and cousins, she says, were taken to Syria.

“Abu Humam selected me and then he pulled me by the hair. I did not expect them to rape us, because I was only 14. But they restrained us with iron handcuffs and violently raped us.

“They raped us one after the other.

“He kept promising me that he would let me go, but then he would rape me three times a day and beat me three or four times a day. I was just a child and didn’t know anything.

“I tried to fight him and push him away when he was trying [to rape me]. Not a day passed without him beating me three or four times.”

Thousands of Yazidi men were executed and Yazidi women and girls were sold as sex slaves when Isis militants attacked Sinjar and neighbouring towns in early August 2014.

The interview was recorded by the Iraqi National Intelligence Service and was broadcast on Al-Iraqiya news channel on 26 November 2019.

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