The estimated 640 young girls from Iraq’s Turkmen minority community who remain under the shackles of sexual slavery at the hands of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) face honor killings if they escape and return to their families, a former Iraqi lawmaker representing the ethnic group told Fox News.
“We are very conservative. If our wife or sister was raped, we cannot talk about it,” Fawzi Akram, the former Iraqi member of parliament (MP) who now serves as a prominent aid and community leader, told Fox News.
He revealed that “640 of our girls—some younger than 12—are missing by ISIS.”
Last year, the Knights of Columbus, the world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization, and the nonprofit In Defense of Christians unveiled a detailed store-like price list maintained by ISIS for selling sexual slaves as young as 1-year-old “in the name of Allah.”
Akram reportedly indicated that Turkmen “families are so deeply ashamed that they often don’t want their abducted girls to come back for fear they were violated. If they do escape and return, they face being honor killed.”
The Iraqi Turkmen community, the third-largest ethnoreligious group in Iraq after Arabs and Kurds, identifies with either Shiite or Sunni Muslim traditions.
“Many girls won’t return,” Hasan Turan, an Iraqi lawmaker from the Turkmen Front Party, told Fox News. “Many girls were held as slaves. … I can only hope families accept them if they return. They are the victims.”
While the ISIS kidnapping of thousands of women and girls from Iraq’s ethnoreligious minority group known as Yazidis (or Yezidis) has been well-documented, the abduction of females from other ethnic minorities has been underreported by members of their community out of shame, reports Fox News.
According to the news outlet, an estimated 640 Turkmen girls and at least another 59 women and children from the Shabak minority group remain missing after ISIS swept them into sexual brutality.
About 2,900 Yazidi women and girls remain missing, Vian Dakhil, a female representative for Yazidis in the Iraqi Parliament, told Fox News, echoing testimony from Yazidi survivor and human rights activist Nadia Murad before a congressional panel in June 2016.
“The scale of the sexual violence extends far broader than many Iraqis previously documented,” notes Fox News. “The minority Shabak—who reside mostly in villages east of Mosul, their faith and rituals centered on Christian, Yazidi and Islamic adherences—are also suffering in silence.”
Hunien Kaddo, an Iraqi MP who represents the estimated 35,000-strong Shabak community, revealed that ISIS raped at least 28 Shabak women and subsequently poured gasoline on them in cages before setting them ablaze in Mosul.
As ISIS lost Mosul to the U.S.-led coalition and its allies late last year, the jihadist group abducted an additional “59 Shabak women and children” from the surrounding villages, revealed Kaddo.
“I have been visiting displaced and devastated families in recent weeks,” he told Fox News. “They’re daughters are missing. Sadly, there is a lot of shame.”
He pointed out that many Christian women and girls remain in captivity as ISIS sex slaves.
The Yazidis requested help in recovering their missing women and children, Fox News learned from northern Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Meanwhile, the other minority groups stayed silent.
The United Nations and the United States have determined that ISIS committed genocide against minority groups in Iraq and Syria, including Christians, Yazidis, Turkmen, and Shabak.