The atrocities of ISIS have gone almost beyond the power to shock, but it’s still jarring to see so much depravity collected into a single report. The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child speaks of the Islamic State selling young children into slavery, pressing mentally handicapped kids into service as suicide bombers, using them as human shields against American air strikes, and conducting mass executions of children by beheading them, crucifying them, and burying them alive.
From a Reuters report:
“We are really deeply concerned at torture and murder of those children, especially those belonging to minorities, but not only from minorities,” committee expert Renate Winter told a news briefing. “The scope of the problem is huge.”
Children from the Yazidi sect or Christian communities, but also Shi’ites and Sunnis, have been victims, she said.
“We have had reports of children, especially children who are mentally challenged, who have been used as suicide bombers, most probably without them even understanding,” Winter told Reuters. “There was a video placed (online) that showed children at a very young age, approximately eight years of age and younger, to be trained already to become child soldiers.”
[…] A large number of children have been killed or badly wounded during air strikes or shelling by Iraqi security forces, while others had died of “dehydration, starvation and heat”, it said.
ISIL has committed “systematic sexual violence”, including “the abduction and sexual enslavement of children”, it said.
“Children of minorities have been captured in many places… sold in the market place with tags, price tags on them, they have been sold as slaves,” Winter said, giving no details.
The committee’s report called upon Iraqi authorities to rescue children from the horrors of the Islamic State, while admitting they had no simple advice for how to go about it, short of inflicting the sort of comprehensive military defeat that ISIS does not face in the near term.
Breitbart News posted videos of ISIS brutally training children as soldiers last winter. One of them includes extensive instruction in “sharia studies and Islamic principles of warfare, preserving their good manners, unity, working to obey Allah, and gain victory for Prophet Mohammed,” which must be very confusing for Obama Administration officials, who claim to believe that the Islamic State has absolutely nothing to do with Islam. Another was bloody enough to get yanked down by YouTube.
The ISIS penchant for sex slavery, including very young girls, has also been well-documented in the past. Girls from the Yazidi minority barely past the age of puberty have been sexually abused, sold as slaves, and forced to convert to Islam. There’s even an official ISIS pamphlet on proper slave handling, including details on what sort of disciplinary beating can be administered under various circumstances, and instructions on how to obtain sexual satisfaction from captive girls who have not yet reached puberty.
When some of the young captives contemplated suicide to escape their torment, they were told their families would be slaughtered if they killed themselves; some of them did it anyway. One poor woman, claiming to have been raped 30 times in a span of hours, got on the phone with Kurdish fighters and begged them to call in an airstrike on the brothel where she was imprisoned. The Islamic State doesn’t put much effort into keeping these abuses secret; on the contrary, they seem to enjoy bludgeoning the conscience of the civilized world by releasing the details.
The Islamic State’s depravity is not vented exclusively on the unfortunate souls seized from territories they have conquered. Efforts to recruit young women from the Western world into ISIS harems, making sophisticated use of social media, have been distressingly successful.
As for using inhuman methods to exterminate troublesome young people, we’ve known ISIS was into crucifixion and live burial for quite some time. They crucified a 17-year-old boy in Syria last October and left him on display for three days, for the crime of filming one of their training camps. Yazidis of all ages who refused to convert to Islam have been given similar treatment. Refugees from the brutal battle over the Kurdish city of Kobani reported ISIS beheading captured children. The vicar of Baghdad said that Christian children captured by ISIS were mutilated if they refused conversion; the lucky ones were merely beheaded. Some of the Yazidis who resisted forced conversion to Islam were buried alive, along with piles of perforated and headless corpses.
If anything, the United Nations is late to the game in formally acknowledging all of this, but better late than never.