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FOCUS

Our Focus programme brings you exclusive reports from around the world. From Monday to Friday at 7.45 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2015-06-24

Yazidi hostages are big business for IS group

Nearly 5,000 Yazidis were kidnapped in Iraq by the Islamic State group during its offensive against the Sinjar region last June. Since then, their families have been trying to buy them back. More than 1,000 hostages have already been released this way, creating a well-structured market with jihadist suppliers, Kurdish and Arab negotiators, and Yazidi buyers. The Kurdish authorities even reimburse families for the ransoms they are made to pay.

Sélim El Meddeb and Adam Pletts report from Dohuk, in the north-west of Iraqi Kurdistan.

Update: A few days after this report was filmed, our team was contacted by Khodeida Omar, the man featured in the report who was trying to retrieve his daughter and two grandchildren from a jihadist kidnapper. With the assistance of another man featured in this report - negotiator Abu Shuja - he has been able to "buy back" his family members. The final price was $150,000, paid in part by rich donors.

Programme prepared by Patrick Lovett and Elom Marcel Toble.

By Selim EL MEDDEB , Adam PLETTS

Our guests

Dr Haytham MOUZAHEM

Director, Beirut Center for Middle East Studies

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Archives

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