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Last edited on 07/13/2013 at 12:16 PM (UTC3 Nineveh, Assyria)
Video Transcript - Interviewed by Martin Blachmann, tag7 ( a t ) wdr.de
MB: Welcome to Warburg (Germany). In this Syrian Orthodox monastery lives Sister Hatune. A life of contemplation one might assume, but that is not the case. Sister Hatune is a brave woman and her struggle for human rights is risky. I am very excited about meeting Sister Hatune.
Sister Hatune: My main concern is girls and women who were kidnapped, raped and abused, because they suffer the most. This girl, for instance, was kidnapped and abused for 13 days. By seven different individuals every day. They demanded a $52,000 ransom. Her parents could not raise all the money and then by the exchange they cut up her face, just like that, right on their doorstep.
MB: That is her?
Sister Hatune: Yes, that is her.
MB: When I told someone about doing this interview, he said it could just as well be the father who mutilated his daughter's face.
Sister Hatune: No, no. What is that supposed to mean? Would her own father do something like that to her? Excuse me, but I have facts. I have seen little girls with their intestines ripped apart. I have seen little girls aged 9-16, who had their vulva cut off. It was found in the hands of her rapists. What you are suggesting could never be the case.
MB: What he meant to say was "can you prove this?"
Sister Hatune: Prove who it was?
Sister Hatune: The girl told me, that they yelled out "Allahu Akbar" all the time. That means she knows they are Muslim. She said they kept reciting suras from the Koran in Arabic. She knows Arabic, too. That is what she knows. But she could not see their faces.
MB: You once said that you have no tears left.
Sister Hatune: That's true, I have none left. I have cried enough. Imagine what it is like to comfort 218 different girls who have all been kidnapped and raped and abused and humiliated. I hugged them and cried with every single one of them. I am a sister and try to comfort their souls. It is important for me that these people also have a shoulder to cry on. Relieve some of their pain. That is also my concern. To care for them. I always carry these images of the Iraqi fugitives in my head. This is about caring for them, helping them. But here I also burst into tears.
MB: You are explaining the blows to her swollen head here.
Sister Hatune: Yes. She was also abused.
MB: Why can they not go to the police?
Sister Hatune: These girls lived somewhere else before. And are now fleeing from the raping and killing into neighboring countries. They cannot go to the police. They have no rights. They are illegals.
MB: Sister, you are now showing us images which we could never ever broadcast. We cannot even describe what they depict. These pictures could not even be in a horror movie. How do you manage to photograph these things?
Sister Hatune: As I told you, I have almost turned into a machine, I cried a lot in the beginning, but now I am just blocked. I feel numb. But I think I will need someone to care for my soul, too, if ever things calm down. Right now I have an objective. I cannot relax before these people have received help.
MB: You are talking about not having any tears left, not being able to laugh. Those are two important elements. Who is helping you? Who is giving you their support?
Sister Hatune: (crying) I am sorry. I don't have anymore. Just my Bible. Very few people with whom I can even talk about this. I need support. I'll surely break down, but I want to achieve my goal.
MB: How come you can not talk to them? Because you already said enough? Or because they do not want to listen? What you are saying is also hard to talk about. Many people might think "ah, leave me alone with that." Know what I mean?
Sister Hatune: (crying) Sorry.
MB: Maybe your tears are a good thing. Do not be ashamed of your tears, sister.
Sister Hatune: (crying) It is hard.
Sister Hatune Foundation