When UN Special Representative, Zainab Bangura was touring the camp of refugees displaced by the wars in Syria and Iraq waged by the Islamic State, ISIS recently, she met countless numbers of women and received many shocking anecdotes from the women terrorized by the jihadist’s sexual violence, Washington Post reports.
Appalling testimonies from the women began to appear one after the other and most of them recount of the enduring rapes and sexual violence inflicted by the Islamic State as a means to subjugate the civilians to fall under their dictatorship after they have conquered their territories, Zainab shared in a recent interview with an independent local news network, Middle East Eye and reported by Washington Post.
“They are institutionalizing sexual violence,” Bangura said of the Islamic State. “The brutalization of women and girls is central to their ideology.”
Bangura also detailed the processes by which “pretty virgins” captured by the jihadists were bought and sold at auctions. Here’s a chilling excerpt:
“After attacking a village, [the Islamic State] splits women from men and executes boys and men aged 14 and over. The women and mothers are separated; girls are stripped naked, tested for virginity and examined for breast size and prettiness. The youngest, and those considered the prettiest virgins fetch higher prices and are sent to Raqqa, the IS stronghold.”
“There is a hierarchy: sheikhs get first choice, then emirs, then fighters. They often take three or four girls each and keep them for a month or so, until they grow tired of a girl, when she goes back to market. At slave auctions, buyers haggle fiercely, driving down prices by disparaging girls as flat-chested or unattractive.”
“We heard about one girl who was traded 22 times, and another, who had escaped, told us that the sheikh who had captured her wrote his name on the back of her hand to show that she was his ‘ property’ “.
It was estimated that about 3,000 to 5,000 girls were taken into slavery and many of them were the Yazidis, an indigenous religious faith not related to the three monotheist religion of the West.
The UN representative again questions the mentality of the perpetrators of the crime, saying:
” They commit rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution and other acts of extreme brutality. We heard one case of a 20-year-old girl who was burned alive because she refused to perform an extreme sex act. We learned of many other sadistic sexual acts. We struggled to understand the mentality of people who commit such crimes.”