A new report released Sunday reveals in sobering detail how Islamic State militants are are brutally treating their captives of religious minority groups, more specifically the Yazidis, and justifying their actions with their Muslim beliefs.
According to the report, which was released by the Human Rights Watch and based on a series of interviews with escaped Yazidi captives, members of the terrorist group are forcing preteens, teenagers and grown women who they have taken hostage into forced marriages and sex slavery. They are also forcing detained Yazidi men to convert to Islam and young Yazidi boys to train to become ISIS fighters.
One 15-year-old female who escaped captivity, simply known as Rewshe, said that after she was detained by ISIS fighters for three weeks. She, along with her sister and 200 other women, were transported to the Syrian stronghold of Raqqa and they were detained there for two days. On the first day, Rewshe said that a group of armed men came and bought 20 of the women.
The next day, Rewshe and her sister were sold to a Palestinian ISIS fighter. Rewshe said that the fighter had told her that she had been purchased for $1,000. That night, her sister was sold to another ISIS fighter. Later that night, Rewshe was taken to the militant's apartment and successfully guarded against his sexual advances and later escaped while the fighter was sleeping.
Other women were married to ISIS fighters--even if they were already married to another man. According to one interviewee, the militants chose not to believe in their marriage because the women had no kids to prove it.
A 19-year-old female using the alias of Seve said that she was taken captive after ISIS shot and killed her husband. She said that she was taken to a house in Mosul where they were conducting a large group wedding and forcing a number of women to "look happy" as they were married to ISIS fighters.
"It was supposed to be a wedding party. They were tossing sweets at us and taking photos and videos of us. They forced us to look happy for the videos and photos," Seve said. "The fighters were so happy; they were firing shorts in the air and shouting. There was one woman from Kocho who was very beautiful. The leader of the fighters took her for himself. They dressed her up like a bride."
According to interviewees, Yazidi men and boys are also taken away--but they are given military and Islamic training and forced to convert to Islam in ceremonies of mass conversion.
Three escapees said that the militants separate young boys ages 8-12, from their families in order to properly give them proper militant training.
"The older brothers of those boys became so scared," said a 28 year old escapee named Khider said. "They asked 'Where are you taking them?' [ISIS fighters] said, 'Don't worry, we will feed and take care of them. We will take them to a base to teach the Quran, how [to] fight, and how to be jihadists.'"
According to the Islamic State jihadists, their actions are justified due to their Muslim beliefs. In the Islamic State English-language online magazine Dabiq not only admits to selling women into slavery but explains them according to the theological rulings of early Islam.
"After capture, the Yazidi women and children were then divided according to the Sharia amongst the fighters of the Islamic State who participated," the article says, according to the Telegraph.
Citing early clerics and the practices of the Prophet Mohammed and his Companions during the early years of Islamic expansion, the article, titled "The Revival of Slavery before the Hour," continues:
"The enslaved Yazidi families are now sold by the Islamic State 'soldiers as the mushrikin were sold by the Companions before them."