“Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.” (Psalms 82:3)
In another recent act of barbarism, the Islamic State (ISIS) has executed 19 girls for refusing to have sex with ISIS soldiers, reported a Kurdish official from the area. The girls were part of a group of women, taken as sex slaves, who hail from non-Sunni Muslim demographics that include Yazidis, as well as Christians. The group is reportedly being held in Mosul, a city that ISIS captured in June of last year.
The radical Islamist group believes that the Yazidis are heretics and the Christians expendable. Senior UN official Zainab Bangura said that ISIS maintains and publicizes a “slave price list” for captured women and children. She also reported that the group’s ongoing appeal and barbarity pose an unprecedented challenge to those that oppose them.
While on a recent trip to Iraq in April, Bangura was given a copy of a pamphlet advertising the ISIS sex trade. The pamphlet markets captured children and women, who are sold to wealthy Middle Eastern men as well as to ISIS fighters. Often the girls who are sold, some of whom are as young as one year old, are sold numerous times over. Occasionally, the ISIS fighters ransom them back to their families for huge sums of money.
Bangura, who is the UN special envoy on sexual violence in conflict, said she has verified that the document came from the Islamic State and reflects real transactions.
The document, which has been translated into English, lists the price for the sale of Yazidi and Christian women and ranges from $75 for women aged 30-40 to $172 for girls aged 1-10.
“The girls get peddled like barrels of petrol,” said Bangura during an interview in New York last week. She said that the actions of ISIS are despicable.
According to Bangura, the leaders of the terrorist group first take those they wish, after which rich outsiders from the region are permitted to bid thousands of dollars for the most valuable slaves in the remaining group. Those still unsold are then offered to the group’s fighters for the listed prices. If the girls refuse to have sex with the fighters, they are executed.
Explaining the reason why ISIS is causing such difficulty for Western as well as regional countries who are trying to combat them, Bangura explained, “It’s not an ordinary rebel group. When you dismiss them as such, then you are using the tools you are used to. This is different. They have the combination of a conventional military and a well-run organized state.”
She continued on to say that even the sexual violence is state-mandated by ISIS. “They have a machinery, they have a program. They have a manual on how you treat these women. They have a marriage bureau which organizes all of these ‘marriages’ and the sale of women. They have a price list.”