New video of the Yazidi boy rescued from ISIS with family in Winnipeg, shows the boy recovering from his ordeal with his uncle in Iraq.
Twelve-year-old Emad Tammo, along with his father and brother, were separated from the rest of their family in 2014, while they were in captivity, held by ISIS militants in Northern Iraq.
Nofa Zaghla, the boy’s mother, along with four of his siblings were able to get free and sought asylum in Winnipeg.
Zaghla first heard of the boy’s rescue through social media last week, and refugee associations have been urging the federal government to speed up the immigration process.
In an interview with Reuters News, Emad can be seen looking at pictures of his mother, and playing with toys, much like any 12-year-old boy would.
“I want to go to my mother in Canada. I haven’t seen her in three years,” said Emad, who was wounded in June when a mortar landed near him in Mosul’s Old City.
Asked how the militants had treated him, Emad said: “Some of them were good and some of them were bad.” His elder brother and father are still missing.
The boy’s uncle Barzan Tammo has been caring for him and said he tried to get Emad back from the militants for a while.
“We had no news about Emad for a very long time,” Tammo told Reuters.
“One day we heard that he was in Syria, we were trying constantly to rescue him in any way. Every day we would contact smugglers and ask if there was any way to get Emad out of Syria. We even offered to pay money. But we made no progress.”
As the battle for Mosul drew to an end earlier this month, Emad’s uncle received a call saying that his nephew had been found alive by Iraqi forces.
“A group of Yazidis in Mosul contacted me and told me, ‘Your nephew is with the Iraqi army and he is in a hospital in Mosul, come and see him.’
“After that, his mother called me from Canada, she asked me if it is true that her son is alive, and that he did not die. I told her ‘I am standing next to him, you can talk to him.’”
Speaking to Global News last week Zaghla said, “All I wanted was to hear his voice. I was so happy.”
Hadji Hesso, spokesperson for the Yazidi Association of Manitoba Inc., said the Canadian government has been in contact with Zaghla and they are currently trying to bring both Emad and his uncle to Canada.
“We did received an e-mail from office of [the minister of immigration] Ahmed Hussen. And they said they will do anything possible to reunite this child with his mother,” Hadji said on Tuesday.
Emad has also been registered with the UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency.
He’s hopeful for good news by the end of the week.
In a statement sent to Global News on last week, an immigration official said they were aware of the situation and “acting accordingly” on the claim.
“All Yazidi cases are being expedited,” a spokesperson with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada wrote.
Thousands of Yazidi women were enslaved by the militants, who killed hundreds of adult men and took boys including Emad away for military and ideological training. The United Nations has said it constitutes genocide.
*With files from Reuters and Lauren McNabb
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