Published on 7th September 2016 by

Yazidis: Eight Months On (2015): Victims of ISIS kidnappings reveal the horror of their imprisonment.

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Last summer 7000 Yazidis were kidnapped by Islamic State. Women and girls were abducted, imprisoned and sold into slavery. In this report, several survivors speak openly about their traumatic experience.

Nineteen-year-old Hakimeh was captured in Kucho and held prisoner for three months: “They sold us among themselves, they treated us very badly, beating us, making us do all sorts of things by force.” Made to convert to Islam, Yazidi women were bought and sold by jihadists. Jalileh, aged 30, was taken to Syria and ordered to look after the youngest girls. “If the girl refused to do what they wanted, they would break her arm or crack her skull. Then they would return her. And after she got better, another man took her”, she describes. In the northern Iraqi village of Lalish that remains holy to Yazidis, many women who have managed to escape take sanctuary. But the babies of women raped by Islamic State fighters are not welcome. “After the baby is born in hospital, it will be handed to the authorities. And the authorities will decide what to do with it”, Yazidi religious leader Baba Chaowish explains. Hakimeh describes her situation, unfortunately a highly familiar one to so many Yazidis: “My mother and father and brothers and their children are lost… We don’t know if they are dead or alive.”

Mehran Bozorgnia – Ref. 6422

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