Khaleel al-Dakhi has saved over 500 women and young girls snatched from their families to be used as sex slaves by the Islamic State.
The brave lawyer has been risking his own life rescuing those who have been taken by ISIS since a siege on Mount Sinjar last August, in which more than 3,000 women and children were siezed by the terrorist organization. His actions powerfully demonstrate the power of one person to do so much good in the world.
“They beat the women, they gang rape them, they make them have forced marriage with many men. Some women have their infant babies taken away by force. They take them to a slave market and give women to each other like a gift.” explained Khaleel al-Dakhi.
Since the siege, Khaleel has worked with associates to rescue 530 of the captured women. To carry out the dangerous work, he works with more than 100 contacts in ISIS-controlled areas who pass phones to the girls so they can speak to Khaleel before they are smuggled to a safe house and given fake ISIS ID cards. They are then hidden for 10 days until the frontline fighting has died down and the coast is clear. Finally, they walk for two days and nights without a break to a safe pick-up zone.
Unfortunately, three of the men involved in helping the women of Sinjar escape ISIS have been captured and killed. And if Khaleel is caught, he faces the same fate.
“Of course my life is in danger, but I have to rescue our girls and our women. I am never afraid, because I’m not better than all my people who were killed by Isil. But I try to protect myself because there many of my people in Isil jails waiting for me to rescue them. When I rescue one person from Isil, I feel that I’ve had one victory against the terrorists.” said Khaleel al-Dakhi.
Khaleel even stays in touch with the women after they escape from the terrorists, making sure they get gynecological and psychological treatment. He visits each woman several times a month and tries to help them live a normal life.
The women suffer tremendous psychological distress, and the trauma does not fade easily. Isil is one of the world’s most brutal regimes for women, and even those who live there by choice face constant oppression. Women can’t leave their house without a close male relative and must wear three veils over their face. They will be lashed if their eyeballs are visible, and stoned to death if they’re accused of adultery.
Though many have been saved, there are still 2,500 from Sinjar alone in captivity, so Khaleel’s job is far from done. He optimistically hopes they will be out of Iraq in the next year.