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Iraqi Yazidi lawmaker could be barred from US award ceremony

BAGHDAD: An Iraqi lawmaker who has campaigned prominently for fellow Yazidi women enslaved by the IS said on Tuesday that new US travel restrictions may prevent her from accepting a human rights award.

Vian Dakhil had been due to travel to Washington to receive the Lantos Human Rights Prize next week for her work highlighting the plight of Yazidi women turned into sex slaves by the jihadists after their homes were overrun in 2014.

But Friday’s executive order by President Donald Trump barring nationals of Iraq and six other Muslim countries from entry to the United States has thrown those plans into question.

“It is not clear yet if I will travel or not,” said Dakhil. Trump said that the entry ban, which will apply for at least 90 days, will help make America safe from “radical Islamic terrorists”. But Dakhil is a Yazidi, a member of a non-Muslim minority that has been subjected to killings, kidnappings, enslavement and rape by IS.

She said the Iraqi embassy and the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, which is awarding the prize, were working to secure an exemption to the travel ban. The fact that she is a member of the Iraqi parliament may help her case.

The Lantos Foundation was critical of the blanket nature of the closed door policy adopted by Trump.

“Dakhil’s case is a startling example of how the executive order signed by President Trump is having unintended consequences and ensnaring not only those who have no links to terrorism but also those who have risked their lives to fight terrorism in cooperation with the United States,” it said.

courtesy : dawn news

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