Human rights lawyer Amal and actor George Clooney have twin babies in their future. The well-dressed duo prefers to champion causes they care deeply about, not their glam lifestyle. Most notably, writes Vogue, Amal Clooney appeared at the UN in New York with client Nadia Murad, a Yazidi woman enslaved by ISIS. In an act of feminist poetic justice, Murad is now suing her former captives.
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Related: Nadia Murad Is Taking On ISIS With the Help of Amal Clooney Vogue
Motherless, displaced, traumatized, grief-stricken, and the ongoing recipient of ISIS death threats, Murad counts herself among the lucky: Of the 6,000 Yazidi women and children taken during ISIS raids, she estimated that more than 3,200 are still being held in captivity. The activist highlighted one person in particular: Lemya, a neighbor and the little sister of close friends, who was only 14 when she was taken and held in the Iraqi city of Mosul by a 34-year-old man, who both raped her and told her, confusingly, that she remained a virgin. “That always sticks in my mind,” Murad explained. “That this happened to her, and she never knew what had happened to her.”
Lemya, like so many other Yazidis, remains missing. And it’s largely for their sake that Murad has sought the help of London-based human rights lawyer Amal Clooney. Together they’re attempting to remind the world that the organized killing and enslavement of Yazidis constitutes genocide. Their goal is to wrangle the assistance of the U.N. in hopes of holding ISIS accountable in international court.
“It is a genocide, and it needs to be recognized,” Murad told me through her interpreter, Murad Ismael, executive director of the Yazidi-supporting nonprofit Yazda. “That must be acknowledged, not just for Yazidis, but for any community that suffers through this. When genocide is committed, it must be seen. People must look at it with open eyes, not minimize its impact.”