KOJO, Iraq, June 1 (Reuters) - Nadia Murad made an emotional return on Thursday to the Yazidi village in northern Iraq where she was captured and sold as a slave by Islamic State, three years ago.
She broke down in tears as she approached the school where the militants rounded up the population of Kojo and separated the men from the women, part of a series of crimes the United Nations described as a genocide against the Yazidi minority.
“We hoped our fate would be to be killed like the men instead of being sold and raped by Syrians, Iraqis ... Tunisians and Europeans,” Murad said after recomposing herself, speaking from the roof of the school in presence of journalists.
“Today the village is surrounded by mass graves,” said the woman, who received the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought, along with another Yazidi woman, Lamiya Aji Bashar.
Kojo is one of the villages recaptured over the past few days by Popular Mobilisation, an Iranian-trained Iraqi Shi‘ite paramilitary force taking part in the war on Islamic State.