About 200 members of the Yazidi religious community who were old and sick were released by ISIS militants last weekend. The freed prisoners report that girls and women continue to suffer from horrifying abuses at the hands of the militant group.
According to the Independent, 50,000 Yazidis fled to the Sinjar mountains in early August last year to escape from ISIS, which is bent on wiping out ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq and Syria.
Hamshe, a former Yazidi sex slave who was able to escape from the jihadists with her baby boy, told the Daily Mail, “I can never forget when they separated men and women from each other. It was very painful to witness women and girls being taken as war spoils.
“Each IS fighter was holding the hand of a Yazidi girl and took her for himself. It was harder than facing death.”
Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Response Advisor who spoke to more than 40 former ISIS captives and said many of those who are being held as sexual slaves are aged 15 and younger.
Girls this age fetch a price of 150,000 dinars (about £85), according to a document issued by ISIS and obtained by Iraqi News.
The price list also shows that while women who are 40 to 50 years old cost 50,000 dinars (about £28), children who are aged 1 to 9 go for 200,000 dinars (about £113).
One of the 300 women who were able to escape from the clutches of ISIS told Amnesty International how a 19-year-old girl named Jilan took her own life.
She said, “We were 21 girls in one room, two of them were very young, 10 to 12 years.
“One day we were given clothes that looked like dancing costumes and were told to bathe and wear these clothes.
“Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself. She was very beautiful. I think she knew she was going to be taken away by a man and that is why she killed herself.”
According to Rovera, many of those who survived the sexual abuses of ISIS are still not getting the help they need.
“The Kurdistan Regional Government, UN and other humanitarian organisations who are providing medical and other support services to survivors of sexual violence must step up their efforts,” Rovera said.
“They must ensure they are swiftly and proactively reaching out to all those who may need them, and that women and girls are made aware of the support available to them.”