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Escape from hell- Torture, sexual slavery in Islamic State captivity in Iraq
The Amnesty report on the treatment of women and girls taken as slaves by Islamic State is published today here.
I have not yet read it all but remember this is happening now. Today. In a country (Syria) where a friend with an interest in antiquities took a holiday barely 10 years ago.
These are not the writings, translated from the Latin or Greek, of some ancient who witnessed the sack of Athens. This is NOW.
“Men came several times to take away some of the girls. Those who resisted were beaten and pulled away by the hair. Some were beaten with electrical cables. I was not afraid of the beatings, but could not bear the thought that they could attack my honour. We were constantly told that we would be forced to marry or sold to some men.”
A young woman who was held with her sister for over a month before both managed to escape told Amnesty International:
“They kept bringing prospective buyers for us but luckily none of them took us because we are not beautiful and we were always crying and holding on to each other. We tried to kill ourselves and the man who was holding us promised not to separate us, but he was becoming more and more impatient. He wanted to get rid of us, to unload the responsibility for us on to someone else, and if we had not managed to escape it was only a matter of time before we would have ended up married by force or sold to some men, like many other girls.”
Several girls who later escaped IS captivity confirmed the sad news to Amnesty International in November. One of them, 20-year-old Luna, recounted:
“We were 21 girls in one room, two of them were very young, 10-12 years. 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 that she was going to be taken away by a man and that is why she killed herself.”
“They took my three sisters away by force, one by one. They were all younger than me. One was only 13 and the others were 15 and 18. I wanted to kill myself, because I could not bear to think what would become of them and because I was afraid they would do the same to me. But I had my 10-year-old cousin with me and I had to look after her. I told my captors that she was my daughter and they believed me as I am 20 but look a bit older and we get married young. My two younger sisters called my father once and said they were in Mosul and had been married by force. We have no news of my 18-year-old sister, where she is held or even if she is dead or alive.”