16 July 2015

Dispatches – Escape from Isis review: a story of appalling brutality, and a glimmer of hope

Last night’s Dispatches – Escape from Isis (Channel 4) contained many horrifying stories from the Sinjar mountain region in north Iraq, an area that is a frontier with the so-called Islamic State.

Last August it was the target of an Isis attack. Hundreds of Yazidi people – an Iraqi ethnic and religious minority – were killed. Isis fighters also captured 3,000 women and young girls who have been sold into slavery, abused, passed around, the spoils of an ugly war.

It’s hard to know what is more unsettling. There is the smuggled footage of Isis fighters bantering in an internet cafe about a slave auction of Yazidi women. There’s the 21-year-old woman who starts to detail her capture, only to find her memories trigger such a violent physical reaction that she has to lie down, gasping for air. How often does this happen, our narrator asks? “Today she’s had five of these attacks,” is the matter-of-fact reply. [The Guardian] Read more