The militants of the banned terrorist organization “Islamic state” (ISIS, ISIL, DAISH) are kept in captivity, about three thousand women and girls as sex slaves, the vast majority of which is antireligion group of Yezidis. The specialists of the international human rights organization Amnesty International noted that the Yezidis do not receive adequate support from the international community, which has not taken visible measures to rescue them from captivity.
During a trip to Iraqi Kurdistan in August, the organization’s researchers spoke with 18 women and girls kidnapped by ISIS. These people have escaped from captivity or were released after relatives paid the ransom. Some of them were suicidal or they were sisters and daughters who have committed suicide due to the horrific violence they were subjected in captivity.
“The unimaginable nightmare, that Yazidi women and girls faced in bondage IG, gives an idea of the extent of ongoing war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by this group. Many women and girls were repeatedly raped, beaten and subjected to other torture, continued to suffer from psychological trauma because of the horror that they had to endure,” said Lynn Maalouf, Deputy Director for research at the regional office of Amnesty International in Beirut.
Many of those who talked to human rights activists, reported that they have taken away children. Boys older than seven years were taken in order to “brainwash them” and make them fighters, and girls as young as 9 years old, “sold” as sex slaves. According to local politicians, activists and health workers, held captive by ISIS are still approximately 3,800 women and children. The fate of thousands of kidnapped Yazidis are still unknown, and most of them probably killed.
“The international community must do so, to the shock and horror of the crimes the IG and sympathy for ezecom, victims of terrible sexual violence and other atrocities, resulted in concrete action. Donors, in consultation with victims, community activists and health care workers should make efforts for establishment and funding of special programs of care and treatment,” added Maalouf.
So far in Iraq there have been no cases of criminal prosecution or before the courts over accused of committing crimes against the Yazidi community. Several trials for alleged crimes of ISIS, which took place in Iraq, did not help to establish the truth about violations, or to provide justice and redress to victims and survivors, say human rights activists.
For example, the trial of 40 people accused of involvement in the massacre of 1,700 Shiite cadets in training camp spiker in June 2014 was replete with violations, and many were convicted on the basis of “confessions” obtained through torture, noted in Amnesty International.
“If the Iraqi government really want to bring members of ISIS to justice for the heinous crimes, they must immediately ratify the Rome Statute and to declare that the jurisdiction of the International criminal court applies to the situation in Iraq and all the crimes committed during the conflict. They should adopt legislation criminalizing war crimes and crimes against humanity and reform the structure of national security and the judicial system in line with international standards,” said Maalouf.
In the summer of this year, a UN Commission of inquiry in Syria said that the actions of the militants of the terrorist group “Islamic state” against the inhabitants of Syria and Iraq, representing the ethnic group of Yezidis, are genocide. It was reported that the actions of ISIS against Yazidis include murder, sexual and conventional slavery, torture and other crimes. The aim of the Islamists is nothing like the complete destruction of the Yazidis, depriving them of their identity, according to the UN.
“This fact was one of the reasons that have allowed us to conclude that such actions are a genocide,” said one of the members of the Commission, Carla del Ponte. In addition, the Committee includes three independent expert. Together, they urged world powers to take action to save approximately 3.2 thousand women and children of Yazidis, in the hands of ISIS, as well as to initiate investigations into actions of the militants at the International criminal court (ICC). “Of course, we see this (report about the crimes of militants) as a roadmap for the further prosecution,” said del Ponte.
The UN has said that the Yezidis were the first against whom the militants are regularly used mass executions. In a new report, the organization stated that “the Yazidi genocide is ongoing”. The paper reported that Yezidis “are subjected to unimaginable horrors.” “No other religious group living in areas of Syria and Iraq controlled by ISIS, has not been subjected to such destruction, which had to face the Yazidis,” – said in the report.
“The scale of atrocities, their General nature, and the fact that they were committed deliberately and systematically against the victims because of their membership in a particular group (…) are the reason why the Commission was able to conclude that this is genocide,” wrote the authors.
In the modern world, according to various estimates, the number of Yazidis is about two million people, mostly living in Iraq, Syria, Russia, Armenia, and Georgia. The cradle of their homeland of the Yazidis consider a Holy Lalish (Iraqi province of Sinjar, or Shangal). In August 2014, in the town of Sinjar, the militants physically destroyed many of the Yazidis who refused to convert to Islam. More than 350 thousand Yezidis have become refugees, among them 70 thousand people had to hide in the mountains, thousands of women were sold to terrorists in sexual slavery.