Jinan Badel, a young Yazidi girl who escaped the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), met with French President Francois Hollande, who offered her asylum. She politely turned down his offer so she can return to Iraqi Kurdistan.
“I came here on behalf of my people,” she told Kurdish news outlet Rudaw. “I asked if they [France] can take further steps to bring back our girls from ISIS. I myself was one of the victims in the hands of ISIS, so I know what those girls are going through.”
After ISIS captures a town, they typically murder the older men and kidnap the females to use or sell as sex slaves. They force younger males into training camps to become jihadists.
“I was in the hands of ISIS for three months, we were asked to convert to Islam,” she continued. “We were not listening to them, they started torturing us with chains, they were giving us dead mice. They said that they will kill us with electrocution if we don’t convert to Islam. We suffered a lot the entire three months.”
She also told Rudaw how she stole a cell phone from the terrorists on the day she and five other girls decided to flee. At midnight, the Yazidis grabbed their “shoes and escaped the home.” Badel walked for over five hours in mud and dirt until she found more Yazidis.
Hollande offered Badel an opportunity to stay in France, but she refused to leave her people.
“I’m not here to enjoy this place or stay here,” she continued. “After I testify, I will go back to Kurdistan region.”
Badel met Hollande at an “international conference on religious and ethnic minorities.” The French government quickly announced it “will contribute 25 million euros ($28,342,500) to a global ‘action plan’ for the protection of minorities in the Middle East that are persecuted by the Islamic State (IS) and other extremists.” Over 60 countries attended the conference, but France is the only one to commit funds to the plan.
“We will not sit back and let the historic diversity of the Middle East disappear,” stated French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.
Fabius said he knows other countries will follow suit. Refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq will receive at least 10 million of the euros.
Hollande also told Badel to tell Yazidis in the camp of France’s support for them and other Iraqi Kurds.
“We help the Kurds fight against ISIS and protect populations,” he said. “Tell all the Iraqi Kurds of our friendship and support. Wear this message!”