Collecting human rights prize, Yazidi lawmaker calls Trump’s travel ban ‘unfair’

February 9, 2017

Iraqi lawmaker Vian Dakhil speaks after receiving the Lantos Human Rights Prize at a Capitol Hill ceremony on Feb. 8, 2017. RNS photo Adelle M. Banks

Iraqi lawmaker Vian Dakhil at the Lantos Human Rights Prize ceremony, 8 February  2017 – RNS photo









Last week I wrote about an award-winning human rights defender not being able to come and collect her award in the USA [].  Vian Dakhil made it to Washington in the end. She had already received a visa to come to Washington to accept an award from the Tom Lantos Foundation when President Donald Trump’s executive order pausing immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iraq, was issued. After an arduous process involving the State Department and the Iraqi Embassy, she was granted an exemption to the travel ban so she could attend the award ceremony on 8 February. Her sister and translator was able to get a visa after a federal judge temporarily halted the implementation of the executive order.

Dakhil, who spoke in Arabic, told of the atrocities inflicted by the Islamic State group, including gang rapes of little girls. And she said the plight of her people continues, with thousands of women and girls in captivity and hundreds of thousands living in refugee camps in Kurdistan, a northern region of Iraq. “Mr. President Donald Trump, Iraq is not a terrorist,” said Vian Dakhil “Iraqis are not terrorists. We are friends and allies. And we are looking forward to have exceptional relations with all people, especially with the United States of America.” Her message is that people around the world still look to the United States to defend the vulnerable and stand up for human rights, even if the U.S. president won’t. She drew a standing ovation from the crowd of more than 100 people, including politicians and diplomats, at the Rayburn House Office Building.

Source: Collecting human rights prize, Yazidi lawmaker calls travel ban ‘unfair’ | Religion News Service

One Response to “Collecting human rights prize, Yazidi lawmaker calls Trump’s travel ban ‘unfair’”

  1. […] Other than uncovering unknown truths about the Nazi’s killing operation, Desbois has also been working on collecting evidence of the Islamic State’s massacre of the Yazidi people in parts of Iraq and Syria. [see also:…] […]

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