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UNCOVERING: Heroes of Sundance-winning documentary stole children

Photo: SVT Play

The internationally acclaimed SVT (Swedish Television) documentary ”Sabaya” tells the story of two men saving Yazidi women who were enslaved by ISIS from Syria’s al-Hol camp.

Kvartal can now reveal that the film’s protagonists forced several of those women to be separated from their children, promising they would later be reunited. Instead, the children were offered for sale to ISIS.

– They tricked us, they took us to their homes, and then they took our children from us, one of the women says.

– The movie is significantly based on a falsehood, states Peter Galbraith, former US ambassador.

A previously unknown audio recording shows that director Hogir Hirori was told one of the protagonists treated the women ”worse than ISIS”.

Read the second part of Kvartal’s Sabaya investigation.

Av Ludde  Hellberg | 26 maj 2022
Ludde Hellberg är undersökande journalist och medarbetare i Kvartals redaktion.
Stöd KvartalLästid 11 minSkärmläsarvänlig
I korthet
In late January of this year, Sabaya received a Swedish Guldbagge award in the category ”Best documentary”. A year before that, it won Best Director at the internationally prestigious Sundance Film Festival in the World Cinema Documentary class, and it has received several other international awards. A large amount of the film’s financing came from Swedish taxpayers’ money, both through financial support from the Swedish Film Institute and through being co-produced with SVT, the Swedish public service television company.

Sabaya was directed by Swedish-Kurdish Hogir Hirorir and depicts the struggle of two Yazidi men to rescue kidnapped Yazidi women from the infamous al-Hol camp in Syria, where around 60 000 people are housed, mostly ISIS supporters and their families.

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