ISIS defectors speak out on Alhurra

Alhurra Television interviewed ISIS defectors and their families as part of a two-part documentary series debuting March 25. Alhurra cameras were given exclusive access into Mitiga prison in Libya to interview two female defectors for “Women with ISIS” and husband and wife defectors for “A Father’s Agony.”

“This is an important story that needs to be told. The defectors share first-hand accounts of what it was like living under ISIS and the horrors they witnessed,” stated MBN President Brian Conniff. MBN manages and oversees Alhurra Television. “These documentaries capture the pain felt not only by the defectors but also by their families.”

The first documentary, “Women with ISIS,” tells the stories of Waheda, an independent Tunisian woman who was preparing to get her Master’s Degree. She followed her husband to Libya and then Turkey, and only then did she realize he was taking her to join ISIS. After Waheda got to Syria, she realized things were not like she thought and begged her family to come save her. As she sits in a Libyan prison, she says she lost everything in her life: her husband, her son’s health and her freedom. Through Alhurra, she recorded a video message to her mother begging for forgiveness for ruining her life.

“Women with ISIS” also profiles Gofran, who went to Syria of her own volition, looking to support ISIS and what she believed they stood for. She was married off to an ISIS militant her first day in the country. As time went on and as she learned more about ISIS, she questioned their rhetoric and way of life. She found that “everything was a lie” and that ISIS fighters were killing Muslims. Gofran also talks about her harrowing escape, which ultimately left her husband dead and a life sentence in prison for her. “Women with ISIS” will air on Saturday, March 25 at 20:00 GMT.

In the second documentary, “A Father’s Agony,” Akram and his wife Asma speak out from the Libyan prison about what drew them into ISIS. Once they got to Syria, Asma talks about being shocked at what she saw and soon wanted to leave. She shared the hopelessness they felt when they knew returning home would mean going to prison. The documentary also interviews Akram’s family, who talked about the astonishment they felt when he left to join ISIS. Through Alhurra, Akram is able to talk to his family for the first time since he left for Syria. They share their pain of knowing they may never see him again. “A Father’s Agony” debuts Saturday, April 1 at 20:00 GMT.

Both programs will also be streamed on Facebook Live when they debut on Alhurra. “Women with ISIS” and “A Father’s Agony” were produced by the same team that produced Alhurra’s award-winning documentary series “Delusional Paradise.”

About MBN

The Middle East Broadcasting Networks is a non-profit corporation is financed by the U.S. Government through a grant from the BBG.

MBN operates Alhurra Television, an Arabic-language television network that broadcasts to 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa via satellite, as well as Alhurra-Iraq Television. MBN also operates Radio Sawa, an Arabic-language radio network that broadcasts music and news 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with more than 370 newscasts per week.

Find out more

Contact Deirdre Kline
Director of Communications, Alhurra Television, Radio Sawa