STRASBOURG, France Yazidi activists Nadia Murad and Lamiya Aji Bashar, once captives of the Islamic State as sex slaves in Iraq, won the on Thursday the Sakharov prize awarded by the European Parliament for freedom of thought.
The two women were victims of terrorist genocide against their ethnic-religious minority, and were kidnapped by jihadists in 2014, when IS took control of their hometown, Sinjar, from which 200,000 people fled.
The two survivors now reside in Germany and are considered spokespersons for victims of sexual violence at the hands of the Islamic State.
Turkish journalist Can Dundar, who is currently in jail, was also nominated for the prize, as well as Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev, a Soviet dissident and a Ukrainian MP.
The candidacy of Murad and Bashar won a majority in the Conference of Presidents, which makes the final decision, in which presidents of European political groups meet with European Parliament President Martin Schulz.
Schulz said that awarding the prize to the two young women is a very symbolic and significant decision to support these two survivors who came to Europe as refugees.
We as the European parliament are now supporting them in their fight for, not only the dignity we have to grant to everybody, but also for their fight to give testimony as a witness to these atrocities, he added.