Two months ago, Ismail, 15, and his mother Jandark, 55, fled Mosul after 2 years of terror under the grip of Daesh. Now a refugee in Erbil, in the region of Iraqi Kurdistan, the young Ismail tells the story of these painful events to the staff of Aid to the Church in Need.
AIn the past, Ismail and his mother lived in Bartella, a Christian village on the Nineveh Plain. When Daesh took control of the city in August 2014, they tried unsuccessfully to flee. They were captured and forcibly taken to Mosul. Once released from this first episode of captivity, they were allowed to join Bartella. On the way home, they were subjected to a check, during which the jihadists demanded that they embrace Islam. Faced with their refusals, the activists violently beat them, and Ismail was put in prison in Bartella.
“One day a Shiite was shot dead in front of my eyes. The terrorists told me: 'If you don't convert to Islam, we will shoot you too.' It was then that I converted to Islam. From then on, we hid that we were Christians. ”
Ismail and Jandark thus obtained a document indicating that they were Muslims, and allowing them to move freely. Ismail testifies:
"Yes, I am ashamed to have been forced to profess Islam"
They lived in several districts of Mosul then in Bazwaya, subject to Sharia law, sometimes beaten for pants that were too long. They have regularly witnessed the worst atrocities, such as the execution of prisoners by children in the middle of the street, or the public stoning of a woman bound by bonds.
The jihadists finally sent Ismail to a correctional center to learn the rules of Islam. He was beaten with every wrong answer. Her mother was given a niqab, and was tortured with long needles because she “didn't know anything about Islam”.
“One day we learned that Qaraqosh, another Christian town on the Nineveh Plain occupied by Daesh, had been liberated and that the liberation troops had driven the jihadists out of Bartella. The air raids on Mosul began soon after, and many people fled. Daesh also fled and, in a hurry, they even forgot a few weapons. However, they took people with them to Mosul, including my mother and me. For three days, we were at the mercy of a jihadist. "
Thanks to the joint efforts of the troops to liberate this region of Iraq, the mother and the son were finally able to escape, avoid the snipers and take shelter while waiting for the soldiers of the Iraqi Liberation Army.
“We were free!”
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