Coventry teenager who fled Iraq calls on Government to help girls kidnapped by ISIS

A Coventry teenager who fled northern Iraq has launched a campaign to help women and girls kidnapped by ISIS. Rozin Khalil Hanjool, 17, set up a petition on July 21 calling for a meeting with the Home Secretary to discuss what the UK can do to support and protect survivors of sexual violence who have been abducted by extremists. 

The teen, who is currently living in Foleshill was born in the village of Issia in Northern Iraq. Rozin belongs to a Kurdish minority group called the Yazidi who are an ISIS target. The terrorist group are killing families and capturing women in the hopes of ‘‘purifying’’ 

Iraq from non-Islamic influences. Rozin came to this country in 2008 on a visa with her mother and five siblings when it became clear that remaining in her village would be too dangerous. Her father had been living in England for four years at the time. 

The 17-year-old said: “As a minority we’ve faced persecution all our lives. We’re safe here. I’m so thankful. “I’m really happy here because it’s so much safer than my village. “If I was there now I would be so, so scared. “I do hope that one my village and my people are safe enough so that I can visit them because it’s been a long time.” 

The selfless college student began the petition after three girls, who had escaped from slavery, told their stories in London. She said: “I want help from the public and government to help these girls medically recover. “Women escape but it could easily happen to them again.” 

She wrote in her petition that she hopes that Theresa May, Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening, and Foreign Minister, Philip Hammond, will meet with the Yazidi community to create a plan of action to support these victims of sexual violence. 

According to Rozin, more than 3,000 women and girls have been kidnapped, raped and tortured by ISIS. Rozin told the Telegraph about the trauma women and girls in her village have had to endure. She said: “There are girls who are 12 and nine years old in my village who are pregnant at the moment. “Everyone is scared because the think they are going to die through the pregnancy.” 

Rozin and the people from her village fear that these young girls will die because there isn’t enough medical attention, food or water. She added: “No one can speak about what they’ve been through. They faint and collapse.” 

The Lyng Hall college student is hoping to become a lawyer when she finishes her A-Levels. She said: “My dream is to be a lawyer and to spend my life fighting injustice. 

“I feel like not a lot of people are looking at the effect of what’s happening to people in Iraq and Syria at the moment.” Currently Rozin’s petition has around 110,000 signatures, but she is hoping to reach 150,000. Anyone wishing to sign the petition can do so by clicking here

BY ANTONIA BANNISTER

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