Islamic State extremists have herded hundreds of women to be given to its fighters in Syria as a reward or sold as sex slaves and have summarily executed women in professions, according to the United Nations.
About 500 women and girls of the Yezidi and Christian minority communities were given to Islamic State fighters or trafficked for sale in markets in Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria, according to a report published today by the UN mission in Iraq and the world body’s human-rights office in Geneva.
“Women and girls are brought with price tags for the buyers to choose and negotiate the sale. The buyers were said to be mostly youth from the local communities,” according to the 29-page report, which cites testimony from witnesses and surviving victims. “Apparently ISIL was ‘selling’ these Yezidi women to the youth as a means of inducing them to join their ranks.” ISIL is an acronym for Islamic State’s former name.
The report is 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. The beheading of two American journalists and a British aid worker helped trigger the formation of a U.S.-led international coalition that’s helping Kurdish and Iraqi government forces combat the extremist group.
The extremist militant group and its affiliates treat women “particularly harshly,” adding to a long list of “gross human-rights abuses” that include murder, physical and sexual assault, robbery and forced expulsion, according to the report.