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‘Sabaya’ Filmmakers Reject Claim They Did Not Obtain Consent Of Yazidi Sex Slaves Depicted In doc.

Filmmakers at the back of the documentary Sabaya are rebutting a posted document claiming they did not well acquire consent from a number of the sufferers of sexual enslavement who seem withinside the award-prevailing movie, approximately Yazidi ladies and ladies seized with the aid of using ISIS warring parties in Iraq. “Director Hogir Hirori and I even have obtained written, verbal or filmed consent from every body who seems in our movie Sabaya (in addition to from the prison mum or dad of the younger female who's featured),” manufacturer Antonio Russo Merenda insisted in a declaration acquired with the aid of using Deadline. “Sabaya is a Swedish manufacturing following Swedish regulation and according to Swedish regulation: written, verbal and filmed consent are similarly valid. Consent bureaucracy have been furnished in each Arabic (the reputable language in each Syria and Iraq) and English.”

The statement was released three days after a New York Times article, co-authored by the paper’s Baghdad bureau chief, appeared under the headline, “Women Enslaved by ISIS Say They Did Not Consent to a Film About Them.” The piece, citing Yazidi women it said had requested anonymity, reported, “Three of the Yazidi women in the documentary told The New York Times that they did not understand what the film’s director, Hogir Hirori, planned to do with the footage or were told that the film would not be accessible in Iraq or Syria. A fourth said she knew he was making a film, but told him she did not want to be in it.”

Another unnamed Yazidi woman quoted in the Times article said, “I saw [Hirori] filming, but did not know what it was for.” The article stated, “She said she was not asked to sign a consent release by the filmmakers at any time after that.”

The documentary, winner of awards at festivals including Sundance, True/False, and Israel’s DocAviv, depicts efforts to free roughly 250 Yazidi women held captive at the Al Hol refugee camp in Northern Syria that houses tens of thousands of former ISIS sympathizers. The women reportedly are being held against their will by the families of the ISIS combatants who enslaved them.

A number of the women have children, the product of rape by their captors. Complicating their fate greatly, the women must leave behind their children if they are to return to their original Yazidi communities.

“The Yezidi Spiritual Council, the highest authority among Yezidis, called on its members in 2019 to accept all Yezidi survivors of [ISIS] atrocities,” according to an August report by the non-partisan Wilson Center, “but a few days later the council issued another statement excluding children born of [ISIS] rape… Other Yezidi women keep hiding their identities because they don’t want to leave their children born of [ISIS] rape behind.”

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