Muslim woman (illustrative).
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The international human rights organization Amnesty International is due to release a bombshell report on Tuesday detailing the manner in which hundreds of Yazidi girls and women in Iraq were forced into sexual captivity by Islamic State gunmen, according to British newspaper The Times of London.
The report cites interviews with dozens of young women who managed to escape the horrors of IS enslavement. Amnesty International believes that the number of females who were forced into sexual slavery may exceed 1,000.
“My mother started screaming and begging for mercy as the [IS] fighters told my sister and me to join the group of younger women specially selected,” one 19-year-old Yazidi woman is quoted as saying by The Times
“But they tore us from her grasp,” she said, insisting on anonymity as a condition of her cooperation so as to avoid inviting harm to her family. “I saw other women in the building being dragged out to waiting lorries by their hair.”
The accounts from Yazidi women in Iraq are consistent with claims made by Kurdish women in Syria who have also come under the thumb of ISIS.
Last week, a UN official said that since July, the situation for Syrian women has worsened.
"Women captured as slaves by [Islamic State] have been sold in markets in Raqqa,” said Valerie Amos, the UN's under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief. “Some are sold to individual men. Others are kept by [Islamic State] in rest houses and face multiple rapes by fighters returning from the battlefield."
During her appearance before a UN Security Council session, Amos described how women and female children as young as 12 are enslaved and sexually abused.
According to The Times of London
, the Yazidi testimonials serve as the basis of an Amnesty International report titled Escape From Hell - Torture, Sexual Slavery in Islamic State Captivity in Iraq
The report says that the enslavement of Yazidi women is part of a deliberate ISIS strategy “which regards sexual enslavement as central to the jihadists’ core spiritual values.”
The girl quoted in the report, “Girl B,” offers a horrifying account of the manner in which ISIS terrorists systematically divided the local Yazidi population after militarily overrunning the south side of the Sinjar Mountain this past August.
“[ISIS] took our names and ages and noted everything down,” Girl B told The Times
. “Then they began dividing us: the men to one side, women and children to another. Then they selected the young women, both married and unmarried. They told me and my two younger sisters to join that last group. We didn’t know what was happening, but our mother realized, and she began screaming.”
“It was organized, and they took us away like cattle,” Girl B said. "The sound was of shouting and yelling from [ISIS] as we were pushed on to those lorries, and screaming from women.”