New Iraqi President Barham Saleh Friday hailed the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to a Yazidi, Nadia Murad, calling it “an honour for all Iraqis who fought terrorism and bigotry”.

Nobel Peace Prize
(COMBO) This combination created on October 5, 2018 of file pictures shows Congolese gynecologist Denis Mukwege (October 24, 2016 in Paris) and Nadia Murad, public advocate for the Yazidi community in Iraq and survivor of sexual enslavement by the Islamic State jihadists (June 21, 2016 in Washington, DC).
Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege and Yazidi rape victim Nadia Murad won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize on October 5, 2018 for their work in fighting sexual violence in conflicts around the world. / AFP PHOTO /

In a tweet, Saleh said he had spoken with Murad to congratulate her, saying the prize was “an acknowledgement of (the) tragic plight” of the religious minority and “recognition for her courage in defending human rights of victims of terror & sexual violence”.

Murad, the first Iraqi to become a Nobel peace laureate, was also congratulated by the country’s outgoing Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and his intended successor Adel Abdel Mahdi.

“I congratulate Iraq and the Iraqis. I congratulate the Yazidi brothers and sisters. I congratulate Nadia Murad for her award,” prime minister designate Mahdi wrote on Facebook.

Non-governmental organisation Yazda said Murad’s award was important for all Yazidis who had suffered at the hands of the jihadist Islamic State group.

“Today marks a special day for the Yazidis and other minorities and all victims of genocide and mass atrocities committed” by IS, said the NGO, set up to help Yazidi women recover from the trauma of rape.

“We hope that this recognition will help Nadia and Yazidis endeavours to bring justice, peace, and coexistence”, added Yazda in a tweet.

After being captured by IS fighters in August 2014, Murad was taken by force to Mosul, the then de facto “capital” of IS’s self-declared caliphate.

She later escaped and has become a champion of the Yazidis and a global voice in their quest for justice.

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