“I froze when I looked at his face carefully."
Ashwaq Ta’lo is a Yazidi teenager enslaved by ISIS in 2014. Four years later, walking about her new neighborhood in a Stuttgart suburb, she found herself face to face with her captor.
In 2016 she escaped to Germany from northern Iraq, where she had been in ISIS captivity for months.
In a video published by a pro-Kurdish Facebook page, Ta'lo recounts her captivity.
She was 15 when her entire family was captured in an ISIS attack on areas in Northern populated by Yazidis, an ethnic-religious minority prosecuted by the Sunni Islamic State.
Ta'lo escaped within a few months, and along with her mother and brother, made it to Germany, where they sought asylum.
Five of her siblings are still missing. Her sister is thought to still be in ISIS captivity.
But then, in 2016, she saw Abu Humam, Ta'lo remembers in the video. It was in Stuttgart, where Abu Humam had himself registered as a refugee.
At first she didn't believe it could possibly have been him, she says. She was sure her past was left behind. But in 2018 she saw him again -- when he confronted her.
“I froze when I looked at his face carefully. It was Abu Humam, with the same scary beard and ugly face,"
“I am Abu Humam and you were with me for a while in Mosul," she remembers him telling her. "
"In short, he knew about my whole life," Ta'lo says with a trembling voice in the Facebook video. "I was so scared, I could barely talk."
According to the Bis report, Ta'lo turned to her brother and together they went to the German police. But the police couldn't help them, they were told. As an asylum-seeker himself, Abu Humam could not be arrested, as long as he hasn't committed any crime.
Ta'lo also mentions knowing other girls in Germany who had been abused and tortured by ISIS, and have also seen their abusers roaming free among the refugee populations.
Despite that, Ta'lo emotionally thanks "all Germans" for providing her with asylum, education, and medical care.
"I want to thank all German for helping me forget," she says.