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Hundreds of Yazidi Women and Girls Used as Sex Slaves by ISIS Commit Suicide, Forced to Undergo Abortions

( [email protected] ) Oct 07, 2015 12:24 PM EDT
Hundreds of women and girls are taking their own lives rather than be subjected to sex slavery by Islamic State militants, a Yazidi woman who fled captivity has revealed in a disturbing new report.
A young Yazidi girl named Muna escaped captivity with her family and is now living in a refugee camp. AP photo

Hundreds of women and girls are taking their own lives rather than be subjected to sex slavery by Islamic State militants, a Yazidi woman who fled captivity has revealed in a disturbing new report.

"We just want them to be rescued," Ameena Saeed Hasan recently told CNN. "Hundreds of girls have committed suicide.

"I have some pictures of the girls who have committed suicide ... when they lose hope for rescue and when ISIS many times sell them and rape them ... I think there is maybe 100. We lost contact with most of them," she added.

Since escaping captivity, Hasan works as an activist raising awareness for the plight of Yazidis, and has helped many women escape captivity along with the help of her husband, Khalil.

However, she says she is haunted by the thought of the women she has not been able to save: "I cannot sleep, I cannot forget what has happened to them," she said. "[They ask] When will you rescue us? But I don't have the answer. I'm not a government. I'm not anything. I'm just people. It's very difficult."

Over the past year, ISIS has abducted thousands of men, women and children from the Christian and Yazidi minorities. While the men are given an ultimatum: convert to Islam or be killed, the women and girls are frequently sold to fighters as sex slaves or given as "prizes." Many of the women and girls have been forced to undergo abortions leaving them unable to move or speak, freed Yazidi girls have revealed. 

Bushra, 21, told CNN in a later report that she witnessed two doctors invasively examine girls to find out if they were already pregnant. Those found to be expecting were forced to abort their babies.

"One of my friends was pregnant," Bushra recalls. "Her child was about three months in the womb. They took her into another room. There were two doctors and they did the abortion.

"Afterwards, they brought her back. I asked her what happened and how they did it. She said the doctors told her not to speak."

The abortion left her friend bleeding heavily, and in so much pain that "she could not talk or walk."

"She was the first. After that, they took the pregnant women and put them in a separate house," Bushra said.

In its English propaganda publication, "Dabiq," ISIS sought to justify its treatment of females, saying it is permissible under early Islamic law to capture and forcibly make "heretical" women sexual slaves.

"Before Shaytan [Satan] reveals his doubts to the weak-minded and weak hearted, one should remember that enslaving the families of the kuffar [infidels] and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Shari'ah that if one were to deny or mock, he would be denying or mocking the verses of the Qur'an and the narration of the Prophet ... and thereby apostatizing from Islam," the publication read.

A New York Times report from August also revealed that ISIS has "emphasized a narrow and selective reading of the Quran and other religious rulings to not only justify violence, but also to elevate and celebrate each sexual assault as spiritually beneficial, even virtuous."

The report, based on interviews with 21 women and girls who escaped IS' captivity in Iraq, noted that the jihadists believe that raping children and young girls serves as a "prayer" to God.

Before her death earlier this year, 26-year-old U.S. hostage Kayla Mueller was reportedly forced to have sex with the head of the Islamic State Abu Bakr Baghdadi, U.S. intelligence officials told her family in June.

The group also recently executed 19 girls for refusing to have sex with ISIS soldiers, reported a Kurdish official from the area.