The fragile, frightened woman “60 Minutes” found five years ago after her escape from ISIS found the strength to tell her story and seek justice for her Yazidi people. Nadia Murad received the Nobel Peace Prize last year for her efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. Now she has joined forces with human rights attorney Amal Clooney in her fight to seek justice against ISIS for their crimes against the Yazidis. She and Clooney will appear in a Scott Pelley report to be broadcast on “60 Minutes” Sunday, October 13, at 7:30 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. PT on CBS.
Murad appeared on the “60 Minutes” 2014 season premiere. She was found by “60 Minutes” associate producer Rachael Morehouse a few weeks before, living among Yazidi refugees who had escaped ISIS. Thousands of Yazidi men were massacred and more than 3,000 women and girls as young as nine were enslaved. Murad agreed then to speak to Pelley with her face covered, hiding her identity out of fear of retribution against her family members she believed were still held by ISIS; Morehouse held her hand during the interview. Nadia spoke about the genocide of her people and the women who were taken and sold into sexual slavery. In a new interview for this Sunday’s story, the Nobel Laureate speaks with her face uncovered.
“At the beginning, rape was a big shame for me and for others to speak about,” she tells Pelley. “Because it would have remained as a shame on you, on your family and on your people. The biggest incentive that made me talk was those left behind including my mother and sisters. I knew what was happening to those in the captivity of ISIS.”
Her path to the Nobel Peace Prize began when she joined an activist group in Germany. It took her to the U.N., where she became a human rights ambassador and then wrote a book. The U.N. recognizes the genocide that happened to the Yazidis, but there are more steps to secure a trial. Clooney agreed to help.
“I saw it as a test of the international system. It was so egregious because it involved ISIS and involved a clear case of genocide. It involved sexual slavery at a scale that we haven’t seen in modern times,” says Clooney. “I thought if the U.N. can’t act in this case then what does the international rule of law even mean?”
“60 Minutes” accompanied Murad back to Sinjar days after she received the Nobel. She brought a replica of the medal next to the mass grave that contained her mother’s remains. “I wonder if [my mother] knows that I have talked to the world about her silent death, the killing of her six sons and her two nieces,” Murad says. “I often feel that what I have been doing is because of her. I wish that she would know about it she may be happy because the world now knows what ISIS has done.”