Tags: islamic | state | yazidi | women

Islamic State Forced Yezidi Women to Marry Fighters, Group Says

Sunday, 12 Oct 2014 08:11 AM

Islamic State extremists have imprisoned hundreds of Yezidis captured during fighting in Iraq, and forced female captives from the religious monitory into marriage with militants, Human Rights Watch said.

Islamic State separated young women, girls and boys from their families after they were captured, the New York-based human rights group said in an e-mailed statement today. The Yezidis, a sect from northern Iraq, are being held in facilities in Iraq and Syria, the group reported after speaking to detainees’ relatives, 16 Yezidis who escaped and two women being held by the militants.

An Islamic State assault in August on villages in northern Iraq forced thousands of Yezidis to flee their homes into the mountains around Sinjar. In response, President Barack Obama authorized limited strikes to prevent a massacre of the Yezidis, a community whose faith includes features of the ancient Persian religion of Zoroastrianism.

The “litany of horrific crimes against the Yezidis in Iraq only keeps growing,” Fred Abrahams, special adviser at Human Rights Watch, said in the statement. “We heard shocking stories of forced religious conversions, forced marriage, and even sexual assault and slavery – and some of the victims were children.”

Sexual Aggression

Islamic State militants consider the community as apostates under its fundamentalist interpretation of Islam. The men who were unable to escape were executed or forced to convert to Islam, according to Human Rights Watch.

Four of the females interviewed said they had to resist sexual aggressions, while one woman said militants bought the girls after they were captured, Human Rights Watch said. A teenage girl said a fighter paid $1,000 to buy her, the group said.

Some 500 women and girls of the Yezidi and Christian minority communities were given to militants in Syria as a reward or sold in markets in Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria, the United Nations said in an Oct. 2 report. The report was the UN’s second official one on acts committed by the Sunni extremist group and its affiliates, that may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Islamic State has detained at least several dozen civilians from other religious and ethnic minorities, including Christians and Shiite and Turkmen, Human Rights Watch said. The number of people being held is unknown because of the fighting in Iraq, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ladane Nasseri in Dubai at lnasseri@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alaa Shahine at asalha@bloomberg.net Glen Carey

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Islamic State extremists have imprisoned hundreds of Yezidis captured during fighting in Iraq, and forced female captives from the religious monitory into marriage with militants, Human Rights Watch said.Islamic State separated young women, girls and boys from their...
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2014-11-12
Sunday, 12 Oct 2014 08:11 AM
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