Human Rights | World Politics | Armed Conflict | Aid Campaigns
Author: Alistair Reign
Lover of humanity: I have traveled throughout North America, Mexico, parts of Europe, and the UK as a freelance consultant in the field of internet marketing; medical and corporate website development; writing for, and publishing digital magazines for international markets.
Human Rights Activist: Canadian, Child and War Refugee Rights.
Artist: Sculpture, Wall-size Collage, Oil and Acrylic Painting.
Writer: Non-fiction, Advertising, Poetry and Prose and journalism.
Publisher: Digital and Print Magazines since 1992:
Currently: publishing and writing for Alistair Reign News Blog. www.alistairreignblog.com
Currently: Fundraising for the Children of War, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping children of war.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) received 63 casualties in a hospital it supports in Hajjah, following a series of night-time airstrikes by the Saudi and Emirati-led coalition on a wedding party that took place in a remote, impoverished village in Bani Qays district in Yemen, on Sunday 22 April.
The bombing was one of at least four deadly airstrikes reported in Yemen since the weekend.
On Saturday 21 April, at least 30 civilians were killed when coalition fighter jets bombed a bus carrying commuters in western Yemen, near the city of Taiz. An additional attack on Sunday night hit a house elsewhere in Hajja, killing an entire family of five, according to al-Nadhri.
On Thursday 25 April, a Saudi-led coalition airstrike killed the top civilian leader in the Houthi movement. Saleh Al-Sammad, president of the Supreme Political Council that runs Yemen’s capital of Sana’a, is also the second in command of the Houthi army. Al-Sammad is reported as the most senior official to be killed by the Western-backed alliance in the three-year-old war.
“Attacks on civilians are a serious violation of international humanitarian law. What happened in Bani Qays is appalling; among the 63 wounded our teams have treated, 13 are children.
These people arrived at the hospital in garlands traditionally worn to celebrate marriage. None were armed or arrived in military uniform,” said João Martins, MSF head of mission in Yemen.
The wounded were initially carried away from the scene by donkeys, as the only two cars in the village were damaged in the strikes. The first responders and two ambulances from the MSF-supported hospital eventually arrived in the village, but were severely delayed because the aircrafts circling overhead raised the spectre of more strikes.
“I was inside the tent when I heard the airstrikes. After that I fell down and lost consciousness. When I woke up, I saw people running away from the tent. I had been inside with my brother and the groom is my friend. One of my cousins died in this attack,” said 12-year-old Kamal.
Darees, who had also attended the wedding, left 20 minutes before the attack. When he returned he was confronted with a chaotic scene and dismembered bodies on the ground, covered in blood.
Children, he said, were frantically searching for their parents.
Warning: This video shows a young boy clinging to the body of his dead father following the wedding bombing.
“Some of the dead bodies were children. Children were playing outside while their parents attended the wedding inside the tent. That’s when the attack happened,” he said.
The injured had mainly lost limbs and suffered shrapnel wounds. At least three patients required amputation, including two brothers, who each lost a foot. By early morning, many residents of Hajjah had come to the hospital to donate blood. In two hours, 150 bags were collected to treat the wounded.
“One woman arrived at the hospital in panic, searching for her son. He was attending the wedding and she doesn’t know what happened to him. Many other women and children in the village are traumatised and don’t know what happened to their loved ones,” said Sally Thomas, MSF project coordinator in Hajjah.
“Warring parties to the conflict must respect the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution: it is prohibited to launch such attacks which may be expected to harm civilians. The rules of war have constantly been violated in Yemen. All warring parties must commit to protecting civilians, and all parties fueling the conflict by selling arms should uphold their responsibility to ensure that international laws established to protect civilians are respected,” Martins added. 
To date, the Saudi-led coalition has declined to comment on the strikes.
The footage of civilian casualties emerges following the United Nations plea to end the fighting, and the U.S. Senate grilling officials over lack of U.S. accountability for arming and refueling Saudi Coalition war planes, while the Saudis continue to blatantly disregard the rules of war, of human decency and human rights; including the Yemenis right to life, and self-governance as a sovereign nation.
The following video is first in a playlist of the most recent United Nations and U.S. Senate hearings regarding policy and humanitarian aid in the Republic of Yemen.
Apparently “The House Of Saud” prefers to act like violent and ignorant wild dogs with one primal instinct – to kill the weak and dominate the pack.
In a joint meeting of the North Atlantic Council and the Military Committee, Ms. Angelina Jolie, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Special Envoy, and co-Founder of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative met with several Allied representatives to focus on NATO’s efforts to prevent sexual and gender-based violence, and discussed what more the Alliance will do.
Following the meeting, Secretary General Stoltenberg announced that “Special Envoy Jolie and I have decided to work together, focusing on three points: training, monitoring and reporting, and awareness.”
The following article is written by Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, and Angelina Jolie, co-founder of the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative.
All violence against women betrays the fundamental promise in the UN Charter of equal rights and dignity for women. It is one of the prime reasons why women remain in a subordinate position in relation to men in most parts of the world.
When this violence is committed as an act of war it tears apart families, creates mass displacement, and makes peace and reconciliation far harder to achieve. In fact, it is often designed expressly to achieve those goals as part of a military strategy.
Despite being prohibited by international law, sexual violence continues to be employed as a tactic of war in numerous conflicts from Myanmar to Ukraine and Syria to Somalia. It includes mass rape, gang rape, sexual slavery, and rape as a form of torture, ethnic cleansing and terrorism. It accounts in large part for why it is often more dangerous to be a woman in a warzone today than it is to be a soldier.
In our different roles we have seen how conflicts in which women’s bodies and rights are systematically abused last longer, cause deeper wounds and are much harder to resolve and overcome. Ending gender-based violence is therefore a vital issue of peace and security as well as of social justice.
The Nato Alliance was founded to safeguard not just the security but also the freedom of its peoples: in the words of President Harry Truman, as “a shield against aggression and the fear of aggression”.
Sexual violence continues to be employed as a tactic of war. For nearly 70 years NATO has stood for collective defence against military threats. But also for the defence of democracy, individual liberty, the rule of law and the UN Charter.
We believe that Nato has the responsibility and opportunity to be a leading protector of women’s rights.
In particular, we believe Nato can become the global military leader in how to prevent and respond to sexual violence in conflict, drawing on the strengths and capabilities of its member states and working with its many partner countries.
Over the coming months we will be working together and with others to identify ways in which Nato can strengthen its contribution to women’s protection and participation in all aspects of conflict-prevention and resolution.
First, by building on Nato’s commitment to integrate gender issues into its strategic thinking as part of its values and reinforcing a culture of the integration of women throughout the organization including in leadership positions.
Nato’s senior military leaders, have a vital role to play in being positive role models, and promoting the role of women in the military.
Second, by helping to raise the standards of other militaries. Nato and Allied countries are involved every day in training partner militaries around the world. We want to explore ways in which existing training on the protection of human rights and civilians, including against sexual violence, can be strengthened.
Third, Nato has developed standard operating practices for soldiers in the field, learned through mandatory pre-deployment training. Standards and training are not the only answer, but they ensure that personnel recognize the different ways in which women and girls are affected by conflict and are trained to prevent, recognize and respond to sexual and gender-based violence.
This is a vital part of helping to create lasting cultural changes, including debunking the myths that fuel sexual violence and deepening understanding of the centrality of protection and rights for women in the creation of lasting peace and security.
Fourth, Nato already deploys gender advisers to local communities in Kosovo and Afghanistan, while Nato’s female soldiers are able to reach and engage with local communities. Stronger awareness of the role that gender plays in conflict improves military operational effectiveness and leads to improved security. Strengthening this culture can only benefit Nato’s contribution to peace and security over the long term.
Fifth, Reporting on conflict-related sexual violence is now one of the tasks of Nato commanders. Nato is also creating a reporting system to record instances of gender-based violence compatible with UN Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Arrangements.
With this data, which will be shared with the UN, Nato soldiers will be able to discern patterns and trends so that they will be able to respond more quickly to prevent potential violence. By reporting crimes and supporting work to bring perpetrators to justice, Nato can challenge the culture of impunity, including for senior leaders and those most responsible.
Nato Allies have strongly committed to put these issues front and center every day, in how they train soldiers, in how they operate in the field, and in how they interact with civilians who find themselves in combat zones.
We will also be urging more concerted action in the wider world. By working together with business, civil society, governments and political leadership writ large, international organizations such as Nato can help lead the way toward ending impunity for sexual violence in conflict.
It is humanity’s shame that violence against women, whether in peaceful societies or during times of war, has been universally regarded as a lesser crime. There is finally hope that we can change this. We owe it to ourselves – men and women alike – and to future generations.
This video is an analysis of the arrest of Paul Manafort, Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos. It takes a look at each player’s motives, and what their testimonies could mean to the future of the Trump presidency.
Includes highlights from Sarah Huckabee Sanders White House Press Briefing on the day of their arrest.
The day after the horrific terrorist attack in Manhattan New York last month, President Donald Trump held a cabinet meeting and launched into a political rhetoric, rather than uniting the country, he continues to create more division.
Later that morning, Mr Trump’s White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders, held a press briefing, and both defended Trump’s Twitter rants, and denied reporter’s accusations that Trump was using the country’s tragedy to further his political objectives on new immigration laws.
Back in October, President Donald Trump announced on television that he will withdraw the U.S. from their Joint Agreement signed with the European Union and Iran (JTCoA). It was no surprise to me that Trump did not have the courtesy, or diplomatic sensibilities to advise his NATO partners before making the public announcement.
At a news conference immediately following Trump’s announcement, Federica Mogherini, High Rep. of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, gave a strongly worded rebuke of Mr. Trump’s unilateral decision.
I decided to fact-check Mr. Trump’s speech, and found that about 10 percent was factual, and the rest was either a blatant lie, or just more of his imagined rhetoric.
In his combative speech,Mr. Trump called Iran a “fanatical regime” and said it had violated the terms of the deal. He accused Iran of sponsoring terrorism, and proposed new sanctions, adding his paranoid prophecy, “We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror, and the very real threat of Iran’s nuclear breakout.
In response, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani immediately ordered the head of the country’s Atomic Energy Organisation to start planning the development of nuclear-powered ships in reaction to what he called the United States’ violation of their nuclear deal.
This is one of my first editorial videos. Let me know what you think in the comment box below!
The crisis in Yemen continues to worsen as the Saudi-led coalition forces and Houthi rebels blatantly disregard the damage being inflicted on innocent Yemeni civilians. Famine and disease have spread through the country unchecked, due in large part to a Saudi-imposed blockade on air and sea ports that has resulted in a desperate shortage of food, humanitarian aid, and medical supplies.
The United Nations has renewed demands for combatants to allow unconditional humanitarian access to all parts of the country.
Saudi-led coalition allies repeatedly have hindered the movement of aid and commercial goods to the population. Huthi/Saleh (forces in Taiz)… routinely interfere with the work of humanitarians, at times demanding the diversion of aid to themselves or denying aid workers access to populations in need. 
The human cost of the two-year-old conflict is horrific. At least8,000 civilian deaths and 45,000 injuries were reported by the middle of 2017, though it is suspected that the real figures are much higher. A recent draft UN report alleges that the Saudi coalition was responsible for more than 680 child casualties in 2016.
A devastating cholera outbreak, the most recent consequence of the fighting, has thus far afflicted over 500,000 people and resulted in almost 2,000 deaths. This outbreak is being exacerbated, and potentially even strategically exploited, by the coalition forces. Meanwhile, 17 million people are experiencing food insecurity and nearly 15 million lack access to basic healthcare services.
The innocent people of Yemen are trapped within a complex network of different national, regional and international competing vested interests, resulting in violent and deadly outcomes for which they alone suffer. Only bold leadership from the players in this conflict, both home and abroad, can (end the total ambivalence to human tragedy) – indeed it is their moral, and legal, responsibility to do so. 
As the situation deteriorates, an effective international response is desperately needed.
To date, there has been a widespread failure on the part of the international community to substantively address the crisis, which is unfolding in plain view and in which combatants are demonstrably violating the rules of international law. Indiscriminate air strikes, imprecise weapons used in residential areas, and the use of cluster munitions are but a few of the atrocities being perpetrated on both sides of the conflict. Significant pressure needs to be put on Saudi Arabia to de-escalate the situation and bring an end to civilian suffering.
The UN Security Council should take prompt action to rejuvenate the political track by passing a long-overdue new resolution under its mandatory Chapter VII authority demanding an immediate ceasefire, unfettered humanitarian access and a return to talks based on the existing UN road map, which requires compromises from both sides.
In such a context of lawlessness and abuse, there is an urgent need for truth, accountability and justice for victims of the conflict.
Given the apparent inadequacies of Saudi Arabia and Yemen-led investigations to date, Amnesty International believes the only way to achieve this is through the establishment of a UN-led independent international investigation to look into alleged violations by all parties. 
It is in this context that we must once again highlight the unconscionable decision by the Canadian government to continue moving forward with the $15 billion Saudi arms deal.
Simply put, Canada cannot export weapons to Saudi Arabia without being complicit in the gross violations of human rights being perpetrated by Saudi forces. In addition to Canada taking a more active diplomatic role in resolving the Yemen conflict, it is absolutely critical that this arms deal is cancelled and that Bill-C47 ensures an acceptably high standard for Canadian arms exports moving forward. 
An increasing number of women and children fleeing war and ISIS captivity are exhibiting lethargy and apathy with resemblance to depressive stupor or catatonia, in connection to traumatic events and reaction patterns involving “apathic introversion” or Resignation Syndrome (RS), along with other symptoms interpreted to be psychosomatic have been reported.
Numerous phenomena resembling RS have been reported by physicians and anthropologists across contexts, cultures and time periods suggesting a common psychosomatic mechanism. Acute as well as prolonged death ensuing real or magical threat of death is known from cultures on most continents. “Epidemics” of dying in war and captivity where no hope remains has been described. (Kihlbom, 2013).
Nostalgia has been examined in relation to deterioration, apathy and dying. (Johannisson, 2001). The concentration camp term “muselmann” denoted those void of all hope exhibiting resignation behavior (Kertész, 1998) claimed to sustain for weeks without nutrition in a state of “archaic autohypnosis”. (Kihlbom, 2013).
Resignation, apathy and eventually death in response to severe unavoidable threat is a consistent finding throughout history and across cultures.
RS designates a long-standing disorder predominately affecting psychologically traumatized children and adolescents in the midst of a strenuous and lengthy migration process. Typically a depressive onset is followed by gradual withdrawal progressing via stupor into a state that prompts tube feeding and is characterized by failure to respond even to painful stimuli. The patient is seemingly unconscious. Recovery ensues within months to years and is claimed to be dependent on the restoration of hope to the family.
Descriptions of disorders resembling RS can be found in the literature and the condition is unlikely novel. Nevertheless, the magnitude and geographical distribution stand out. Several hundred cases have been reported exclusively in Sweden in the past decade prompting the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare to recognize RS as a separate diagnostic entity.
From January 1st 2003 to April 31st 2005, 424 cases were reported(Hessle and Ahmadi, 2006) and out of the 6547 asylum applications submitted for children (0–17 years) in Sweden in 2004 (Von Folsach and Montgomery, 2006), 2.8% were thus diagnosed. No cases reported from other countries, the phenomenon appears unique to Sweden. [Source]
The Swedish word uppgivenhetssyndrom sounds like what it is: a syndrome in which kids have given up on life.
In Sweden: Several hundred children and adolescents have literally checked out of the world for months or years. They go to bed and don’t get up.
They’re unable to move, eat, drink, speak or respond. All of the victims of the disorder, sometimes called resignation syndrome, have been youngsters seeking asylum after a traumatic migration, mostly from former Soviet and Yugoslav states. And all of them live in Sweden.
The children go into these coma like states when their families are notified that they will be deported. The only known cure is for their families to receive residency permits allowing them to stay in Sweden. It’s not a sudden, magical reawakening when family members read the approved residency permit in the non-responsive child’s presence. Somehow, the information gets through. While there are no long-term follow-up studies, Aviv says, over a period of days, weeks, sometimes a few months, the child begins to eat, move, react and come back to the world.
[Aviv] I first read about it in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. Because I was reading about it in an academic article, I didn’t think to doubt it. But when I met the two girls I wrote about, it felt very strange. There was a sense of unreality. There was a disconnect between how young and healthy, even beautiful, they looked. They looked like they were sleeping. It was a sickening feeling to know that they were in that position for years. People make comparisons to bears hibernating. But humans don’t hibernate. It felt surreal.
[NPR] The two sisters you wrote about were Roma, from Kosovo. The older sister lost her ability to walk within 24 hours of the family’s application for residency being turned down. Her younger sister is also “bedridden and unresponsive.“
[Aviv] They were lying in bed. Their doctors were manipulating their bodies, and the girls did not show any signs that they were aware that there were people around them. When I met them, one of the girls had been in that state for two years, the other one only for a few months. When the doctor shined a flashlight on the girls’ eyes, the one who had been sick the longest, she just sort of stared directly at the doctor as if she didn’t even notice that someone was opening her eyelid.
I met a boy that I didn’t write about. He lived in a hotel. He and his mother had received a residency permit already. He had been apathetic for about two years [while the family waited and worried that they would be deported]. Even though his family had received the residency permit about three months before, the only progress he had made was to open his eyes. He was sitting up, but he could not hold his head up on his own. We’d be talking — his family, his doctors — and suddenly I’d remember that he was in the room.
It was almost as if there was a mannequin in the room that I kept forgetting about. He didn’t seem to be there mentally. That was concerning. He should have been recovering by then. His doctors were hopeful that he’d get better, but there have been almost no follow-up studies about what happens to these children.
[NPR] You did write extensively about Georgi from the Russian province of North Ossetia, who went to bed and stayed there when his family’s permit was denied in 2015. In late May, 2016, Georgi’s family received another letter from the Migration Board. Their neighbor Ellina Zapolskaia translated it:
‘The Migration Board finds no reason to question what is stated about Georgi’s health,’ she read out loud. ‘He is therefore considered to be in need of a safe and stable environment and living conditions in order to recuperate.’
What was his recovery like?
[Aviv] I would never have known that he was sick. He looked and acted completely normal. But even with complete recovery, some of these children have missed two years of their lives, and that’s a big deal.
[NPR] Is it possible that the children who went into these coma like states knew of the syndrome? And if so, might they have been unintentionally showing symptoms as a way of saving their families from deportation?
[Aviv] I think everyone acknowledges that there’s a degree of psychological contagion.Georgi had a family friend with the condition; the two sisters had a cousin; and the boy in the hotel saw at least three other children in the hotel with the syndrome. It’s a little like the way anorexia emerged in the U.S. at a moment in time when people were preoccupied with body image and the media were emphasizing thinness.
The illness borrows from the culture, and suddenly you have all these people who are starving themselves and doctors began diagnosing anorexia. It’s hard to pinpoint what the mechanism would be for children to develop resignation syndrome. It seems to have become a culturally permissible way of expressing one’s despair.
In Mosul: Women and children freed from sexual slavery to ISIS are also falling into coma like state of deep sleep.
Since the operation to take back Mosul, Iraq began last year, approximately 180 women, girls and children from the Yezidi ethnic minority who were captured in 2014 by the Islamic State, or Isis, have been liberated, according to Iraq’s Bureau for the Rescue of Abductees.
Women rescued in the first two years after Isis overran their ancestral homeland came home with infections, broken limbs and suicidal thoughts.
But now, after three years of captivity, women are far more damaged, displaying extraordinary signs of psychological injury.
The girls are “very tired,” “unconscious” and “in severe shock and psychological upset,” said Dr. Nagham Nawzat Hasan, a Yazidi gynecologist who has treated over 1,000 of the rape victims.
“We thought the first cases were difficult,” Hasan said. “But those after the liberation of Mosul, they are very difficult.”
The shock expresses itself in women and girls who sleep for days on end, seemingly unable to wake up, said Hussein Qaidi, the director of the abductee rescue bureau.
“Ninety per cent of the women coming out are like this,” he said, for at least part of the time after their return.
Souhayla is just 16-years-old. She was captured at the tender age of 13. She now lay on her side, on a mattress on the floor, unable to hold up her head. Her uncle props her up to drink water, but she can barely swallow. Her voice is so weak, he places his ear directly over her mouth to hear her.
Her uncle described her condition as “shock.” He invited reporters to Souhayla’s bedside so they could document what the terror group’s system of sexual abuse had done to his niece.
“This is what they have done to our people,” said Khalid Taalo, her uncle.
The girl walked out of the most destroyed section of Mosul this month, freed after three years of captivity and serial rapewhen her Isis captor was killed in an airstrike.
Both Souhayla and her family asked that she be identified as well as photographed, in an effort to shed light on their community’s suffering. Her uncle posted her image on Facebook immediately after her release describing what Isis had done to her.
For over a year, Taalo said, he had known his niece’s location, as well as the name of the fighter holding her. He enlisted the help of a smuggler who at great risk photographed Souhayla through the window of the house where she was being held and sent the images to her family.
But it was too perilous to try a rescue.
Souhayla escaped on July 9th , two days after an airstrike collapsed a wall in the building where she was being held, Killing another Yazidi girl who had been held alongside her, including the captor who had been abusing them, her uncle said.
At that point, she was strong enough to clamber through the rubble and make her way to the first Iraqi checkpoint.
When her family drove to pick her up, she ran to embrace them.
“I ran to her and she ran to me and we started crying and then we started laughing as well,” said Taalo, the brother of Souhayla’s father, who remains missing after the Isis took over their hometown. “We stayed like that holding each other, and we kept crying and laughing, until we fell to the ground.”
But within hours, she stopped speaking, he said.
By the time they reached the camp where her mother and extended family had found refuge after the Islamic State overran their village, Souhayla slipped into what appeared to be unconsciousness.
The doctors who examined her have prescribed antibiotics for a urinary tract infection. She also shows signs of malnutrition.
Neither explain her extreme symptoms, said her family and one of the doctors who examined her.
“I’m happy to be home,” she whispered with difficulty into her uncle’s ear, in response to a reporter’s question, “but I’m sick.”
Isis had been ruling Mosul for two months in 2014 when the group’s leaders set their sights on Sinjar, a 60-mile-long, yellow massif to the north. Its foothills and mountain villages have long been the bedrock of life for the Yazidi, a tiny minority who account for less than two percent of Iraq’s population of 38 million.
The centuries-old religion of the Yazidi revolves around worship of a single God, who in turn created seven sacred angels. These beliefs led the Isis to label the Yazidi as polytheists, a perilous category in the terrorist group’s nomenclature.
Relying on a little-known and mostly defunct corpus of Islamic law, the Isis argued that the minority’s religious standing rendered them eligible for enslavement.
On August 3, 2014, convoys of fighters sped up the escarpment, fanning out across the adjoining valleys. Among the first towns they passed on their way up the mountain was Til Qasab, with its low-slung concrete buildings surrounded by plains of blond grass.
That’s where Souhayla, then 13-years-old, lived.
A total of 6,470 Yazidis on the mountain were abducted, according to Iraqi officials, including Souhayla.Three years later, 3,410 remain in captivity or unaccounted for,Qaidi of the abductee rescue bureau said.
For the first two years of her captivity, Souhayla was forced through the Islamic State’s system of sexual slavery, raped by a total of seven men, she said.
When the push for Mosul began, she was moved progressively deeper into the area hardest hit by the conflict, as security forces squeezed the terrorist group into a sliver of land near the Tigris River. The area was pummeled by artillery, airstrikes and car bombs, and strafed by helicopter-gunship fire.
As Isis began losing its grip on the city, Souhayla’s captor cut her hair short, like a boy’s. She understood he was planning to try to slip past Iraqi security forces, disguised as a refugee, and take her with him, her uncle said.
Taalo now spends his days nursing his niece back to health. To sit up, she grasped one of the metal ribs holding up her family’s tent and pulled herself into a sitting position, as her uncle pushed from behind. But soon her strength was sapped, and she flopped back down.
He used a wash cloth to dab her forehead, as she lay in his lap. Her mouth fell open and her eyes rolled back.
After her escape, almost two weeks passed before she was able to stand for more than a few minutes, her legs unsteady.
Yazidi Girls: Iraqi officials say recent female escapees are also showing an unusual degree of indoctrination (I would refer to as brainwashing).
Two Yazidi sisters, ages 20 and 26, arrived at the Hamam Ali refugee camp, where they drew the attention of camp officials because they wore face-covering niqabs and refused to take them off, despite the fact that Yazidi women do not cover their faces.
They described the Isis fighters who raped them as their “husbands” and as “martyrs,” said Muntajab Ibraheem, a camp official and director of the Iraqi Salvation Humanitarian Organization.
In their arms were the three toddlers they had given birth to in captivity, the children of their rapists. But they refused to nurse them, said the smuggler sent by their family to fetch them. He and camp officials filled out paperwork so that the children could be given to the state, he said.
A video recorded on the smuggler’s phone shows what happened when the sisters saw their family for the first time after their return. Their relatives rushed to embrace the gaunt women. They cried.
Their mother, distraught, stepped behind the tent, trying to steady herself.
A day after the video was taken, reporters went to see the women, and they could no longer stand. They lay on mattresses inside the plastic walls of their tent.
Family members said that except for a few brief moments, the women have not awakened since then, over a week ago.[Source]