Islamic State militants are gang-raping, selling hundreds of Yazidi women inside Iraqi prison: report
Women as young as 14-years-old are being held captive inside Mosul’s Badush prison. They’re reportedly given a choice: Convert to the Islamic State’s extremist interpretation of Islam or face daily rape. Some of those who convert have been sold off to fighters for as low as $25.
Islamic State fighters in Iraq are reportedly reserving a special kind of cruelty for women from minority religions.
The militants are keeping hundreds of Yazidi, Christian, and Turkoman women in Mosul’s Badush prison, gang-raping some and selling others as brides for as low as $25, The Daily Beast reports.
They’re even forcing local beauticians to come into the prison to dress the women up with makeup. Survivors said that many of those held in the prison were teenagers, some as young as 14.
The women are given a choice: They can convert to the militant’s violent interpretation of Islam or face daily rape. Those who convert are reportedly sold off like cattle to Islamic State fighters and ordered to be submissive, women’s rights advocates in the region report. Their selling price ranges from $25 to $150.
One mother of a captive woman said her daughter managed to hide a cell phone in the prison and has been describing horrific tales of being raped by dozens of men over a few hours.
Other women said that children born out of rape have been ripped from their mothers’ arms, and never seen again.
U.N. officials in Iraq have suggested that some 1,500 people from religious minorities may have been forced into sexual slavery.
Pakhshan Zangana, a women’s rights advocate in the region, has been seeking private donations to try and buy the captured women back from the militants.
“We have women and families calling in every day, the situation is getting desperate,” said Zangana. “It’s sick.”
The Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS and ISIL, have been spreading their reign of terror and extremist interpretation of Islam throughout large swaths of Iraq for the past year. The Yazidi people have been prime targets because of their religious beliefs, which IS fighters interpret as devil worship. Yazidi traditions are an ancient blend of Islam, Christianity, and Persian Zoroastrianism, one that doesn’t believe in the concept of hell.
The Yazidis have been careful to marry within their own communities for centuries — which means the rapes are breaking their bloodline. One mother told the Kurdish news organization Rudaw that her three daughters committed suicide by jumping off a cliff after they were raped by Islamic State militants.
The mother of five victims expressed fear after the cellphone her daughter had smuggled into the prison stopped working.
“We don’t want food or money, we just want our daughters back,” the mother said.