Escaped and released captives formerly held by Islamic State terrorists in Iraq have recounted the horrors they were subjected to inside the self-proclaimed caliphate. Their humiliations included brutal public rapes, sex slavery, torture and forced medical procedures.
The hostages came from a mixed group of the elderly and children released after they were sold back into freedom in return for large volumes of cash. The International Business Times reports the practices of the Islamic State as its borders expanded into Kurdish communities, remarking that children would be taken from their parents and “distributed” among new owners in the Islamic State capital of Mosul.
One aid worker who had talked to some of the girls released recounted their experiences, saying: “The girls were dragged away from their mothers. If the mothers pleaded them not to give away their daughters, they were beaten and tortured… A lot of them have been sold to ISIS fighters, they have been raped in […] public, and by more than two or three people at a time”.
Many of the young girls taken last year from Yazidi communities, a religious and ethnic minority considered as sub-human devil worshippers by hardline Muslims such as the Islamic State have been traded as chattel, or forced into marriages and raped by their captors. Amnesty International has been reporting on the terrible tortures visited upon the children captured for the gratification of fighters.
One reported of her experience of being kept in a group of girls, some as young as 10, and being groomed for use. She said: “One day we were given clothes that looked like dance costumes and were told to bathe and wear those clothes.
“Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself. She was very beautiful; I think she knew she was going to be taken away by a man and that is why she killed herself.”
One witness said “the young girls, the pretty girls” were always the first to be taken away.
Although much of the focus of the atrocities being visited upon minorities by the self-proclaimed caliphate concentrates on the actions of men, Breitbart London reported last year on the Islamic State’s ‘morality police’ – a force run by women, for the enforcement of moral behaviour among women. The Syrian woman made her confession, as an Islamic State defector escaped to Turkey, after her time working in the ‘al-Khansaa brigade’, which whipped women not fully covered and arranged marriages for young women to fighters.
‘Khadija’ said of her patrols on Islamic-State controlled streets: “If we saw a woman who was not wearing the correct sharia clothing, we would grab her. Sometimes, they would be lashed”. She described witnessing executions in the street, and sharing her office with the director of forced marriages. She said: “the foreign fighters are very brutal with women, even the ones they marry. There were cases where the wife had to be taken to the emergency ward because of the sexual violence”.