ISIS captured Sinjar in 2014, massacring the Yazidi men who lived there and capturing thousands of Yazidi women and children. The Yazidis are not taking this lying down — both their men and women are lining up to fight — but rescuing those being held by the terror group is a dangerous and difficult task. Ameena Saeed Hasan, a former Iraqi lawmaker, is a Sinjar Yazidi who, together with her husband, manages a network to smuggle women from ISIS to safety. Hasan says that many of the women held captive by ISIS militants have taken their own lives rather than wait to be saved. “Hundreds of girls have committed suicide,” she says. “They lose hope for rescue when ISIS many times sell them and rape them.” Hasan doesn’t have the resources of a government, and her only real weapon is her phone, but so far she and her husband have rescued more than a hundred people. In 2015, Hasan was named a Hero Acting to End Modern Slavery by the U.S. Department of State, but her successes have brought her little comfort. “I cannot sleep,” says Hasan. “I cannot forget what has happened to them.”
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