Jolie ‘speechless’ on ISIS victims, Syrian refugees
“I have visited Iraq five times since 2007, and I have seen nothing like the suffering I'm witnessing now,” Jolie wrote
Just days after Angelina Jolie was photographed on a visit to northern Iraq, the humanitarian and Hollywood heavyweight has penned a column about her trip for the New York Times, describing the devastation she witnessed in refugee camps.
In the piece, Jolie called for international action to help millions of displaced Syrian refugees and Iraqis who have been left homeless.
“I have visited Iraq five times since 2007, and I have seen nothing like the suffering I'm witnessing now,” she wrote in the article published on Tuesday.
“For many years I have visited camps, and every time, I sit in a tent and hear stories,” she explained. “I try my best to give support. To say something that will show solidarity and give some kind of thoughtful guidance. On this trip I was speechless.”
Jolie visited the Khanke Camp for internally displaced people on Sunday, and spoke to victims of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) extremist group.
“What do you say to the 13-year-old girl who describes the warehouses where she and the others lived and would be pulled out, three at a time, to be raped by the men?” she asked. “When her brother found out, he killed himself.”
“How can you speak when a woman your own age looks you in the eye and tells you that her whole family was killed in front of her, and that she now lives alone in a tent and has minimal food rations?”
In her column Jolie calls on the international community to take action, saying neighboring countries “have taken in nearly four million Syrian refugees, but they are reaching their limits.
“What does it say about our commitment to human rights and accountability that we seem to tolerate crimes against humanity happening in Syria and Iraq on a daily basis?” she asked.
“It is not enough to defend our values at home, in our newspapers and in our institutions,” she writes. “We also have to defend them in the refugee camps of the Middle East, and the ruined ghost towns of Syria.”
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