Raped every day for a month in front of Children: Women reveal the horrors they endured as ISIS sex slaves… despite being SUNNI Muslims just like their captors
- Abuses against Yazidi women are well documented under the brutal rein of ISIS
- But Human Rights Watch says Sunni women are also being raped and tortured
- Shocking reports come despite ISIS claiming to follow pure brand of Sunni Islam
- One Sunni woman said she was blindfolded, beaten with cables and then raped
Women have revealed the horrors they endured at the hands of ISIS sex slaves – despite being Sunni Muslims just like their captors.
But according to Human Rights Watch there is now evidence that Sunni Arab women are now being targeted too with one victim telling the group how she was raped everyday for a month in front of her children.
ISIS, which proclaimed a ‘caliphate’ straddling Iraq and Syria in June 2014, claims to follow a pure brand of Sunni Islam as it was practised in the time of Prophet Mohammed.
But Human Right Watch has now documented cases of arbitrary detentions, beatings, forced marriages and rape by the jihadists on Sunni women who have fled the town of Hawijah, which is still under ISIS control.
HRW recounted the story of Hanan, a 26-year-old whose husband had already fled Hawijah, who was captured by ISIS fighters along with 50 other women when they also attempted to escape the town in April 2016.
ISIS fighters told the mother-of-three that her husband’s flight made her an apostate and that she should marry the local jihadist leader.
She refused, telling her ISIS captors ‘Kill me, because I refuse to do that’. But she was blindfolded, beaten with plastic cables, suspended by her arms for some time and then raped.
‘The same guy raped me every day for the next month without a blindfold, always in front of my children,’ Hanan told HRW.
‘My daughter suffers from an intellectual disability so she doesn’t really understand what she saw, but my older son brings it up often. I don’t know what to do.’
A month after she was captured, Hanan’s father was able to locate her and gave ISIS a car and paid $500 for her release, she said.
Abuses against Yazidi women have been well documented under the terror group’s brutal rein in parts of Iraq and Syria
He was forced to sign a document stating that if she escaped ISIS-controlled territory, he would be killed. The ISIS fighter who had been raping her said he wanted to marry her, but she and her father refused, she said.
In January 2017, she said, she escaped with the rest of her family to Kirkuk. She said she did not know what happened to the other women, but heard from the woman from another captive’s family that she had been forced to marry her rapist.
Another woman, 25, said she was captured while waiting to escape in October 2016 when ISIS fighters opened fire on her group and shot her son, six, in the back.
She was hit in the shoulder with a gun butt and locked up with the other women in an abandoned house.
Three female guards came and lashed each woman 65 times with a thin cane, she said. They were told that if they winced, they would get more lashes.
Eventually her family paid for her release and found her son had survived after having four operations.
Fawzia, 45, from Daquq said her house was occupied by three fighters after her husband fled to avoid being used as an ISIS spy.
She said the men would bring girls aged about 16 into a room ‘for about an hour’ and that she could hear them crying.
HRW said the issue was not given enough attention and that too little was being done to tackle the stigma that prevents many more victims from coming forward.
‘Little is known about sexual abuse against Sunni Arab women living under ISIS rule,’ said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at HRW.
‘We hope that the international community and local authorities will do all they can to give this group of victims the support they need,’ she said.
ISIS fanatics have justified the mass rape and sexual enslavement of women from the Yazidi minority – who are neither Arab nor Muslim – on the grounds that they are polytheists.
The accounts collected by HRW often refer to ISIS fighters accusing the women of apostasy, or abandoning their faith, before abusing them.