(The Telegraph newspaper) The only female Yazidi MP in Iraq’s parliament, who mobilised the world against ISIS assault on her people, is unable to travel to the US to accept a human rights awards under Donald Trump’s visa ban.
Vian Dakhil was set to receive the Lantos Human Rights Prize at the US Capitol in Washington DC on Feb. 8 for her “courageous defence” of the Yazidi people as they faced mass genocide two years ago at the hands of ISIS.
However, as a carrier of an Iraqi passport she is unlikely to be allowed to enter the country next week despite holding a US visa.
It is not clear yet if I will travel or not,” Mrs Dakhil, 46, said. “The decision was a complete surprise.”
The Lantos foundation dubbed her “ISIS’s most-wanted woman”. She used her position in parliament to inform the world of the atrocities being committed against the Yazidi people.
In August 2014, Isil militants stormed Mount Sinjar, which is home to most of the world’s 400,000 Yazidis. In a genocidal campaign they killed hundreds of men and raped and enslaved thousands of women.
Days later, Barack Obama, former US president, order air strikes on Mount Sinjar – the first ever against Isil.
Since then, Mrs Dakhil has personally conducted rescue missions on behalf of thousands of women and girls who were still held by the terror group in Iraq and Syria.
More than 1,000 Yazidi women were granted asylum and received treatment in Germany.
The award is named after Tom Lantos, the only survivor of the Holocaust to serve in US Congress and a leading advocate for human rights during his nearly three decades as a US Representative. Former recipients of the prize include, the Dalai Lama, Prof Elie Wiesel, a Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor, and former Israeli president Shimon Peres.
The foundation called on the Trump administration to immediately rescind the “ill-advised” order and has been in touch with the State Department to see if her case can be made an exception.
“When we deny entry to all citizens of Muslim majority countries, we disrespect our fundamental American values – indeed, the values that truly make America great,” it said in a statement on Monday.
“When we have to question whether a hero like Vian Dakhil, who has risked her life to fight the genocidal terrorists of ISIS, will be allowed into our country to receive a human rights prize in the shadow of the Capitol dome, we should all be deeply concerned.”