As ISIS brutalizes women, a pathetic feminist silence

A policeman directs Pashtun women in burqa to the gates of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border crossing in Chaman November 27, 2011. Pakistan on Sunday buried 24 troops killed in a NATO cross-border air raid that has pushed a crisis in relations with the United States towards rupture.    REUTERS/Naseer Ahmed (PAKISTAN - Tags: CIVIL UNREST MILITARY)

A policeman directs Pashtun women in burqa to the gates of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border crossing in Chaman November 27, 2011. Pakistan on Sunday buried 24 troops killed in a NATO cross-border air raid that has pushed a crisis in relations with the United States towards rupture. REUTERS/Naseer Ahmed (PAKISTAN – Tags: CIVIL UNREST MILITARY)

Oh, how the feminist movement has lost its way. And the deafening silence over ISIS’s latest brutal crimes makes that all too clear.

Fifty years ago, American women launched a liberation campaign for freedom and equality. We achieved a revolution in the Western world and created a vision for girls and women everywhere.

Second Wave feminism was an ideologically diverse movement that pioneered society’s understanding of how women were disadvantaged economically, reproductively, politically, physically, psychologically and sexually.

Feminists had one standard of universal human rights — we were not cultural relativists — and we called misogyny by its rightful name no matter where we found it.

As late as 1997, the Feminist Majority at least took a stand against the Afghan Taliban and the burqa. In 2001, 18,000 people, led by feminist celebrities, cheered ecstatically when Oprah Winfrey removed a woman’s burqa at a feminist event — but she did so safely in Madison Square Garden, not in Kabul or Kandahar.

Six weeks ago, Human Rights Watch documented a “system of organized rape and sexual assault, sexual slavery, and forced marriage by ISIS forces.” Their victims were mainly Yazidi women and girls as young as 12, whom they bought, sold, gang-raped, beat, tortured and murdered when they tried to escape.

In May, Kurdish media reported, Yazidi girls who escaped or were released said they were kept half-naked together with other girls as young as 9, one of whom was pregnant when she was released. The girls were “smelled,” chosen and examined to make sure they were virgins. ISIS fighters whipped or burned the girls’ thighs if they refused to perform “extreme” pornography-influenced sex acts. In one instance, they cut off the legs of a girl who tried to escape.

These atrocities are war crimes and crimes against humanity — and yet American feminists did not demand President Obama rescue the remaining female hostages nor did they demand military intervention or support on behalf of the millions of terrified Iraqi and Syrian civilian refugees.

An astounding public silence has prevailed.

The upcoming annual conference of the National Organization for Women does not list ISIS or Boko Haram on its agenda. While the most recent Women’s Studies annual conference did focus on foreign policy, they were only interested in Palestine, a country which has never existed, and support for which is often synonymous with an anti-Israel position. Privately, feminists favor non-intervention, non-violence and the need for multilateral action, and they blame America for practically everything wrong in the world.

What is going on?

Feminists are, typically, leftists who view “Amerika” and white Christian men as their most dangerous enemies, while remaining silent about Islamist barbarians such as ISIS.

Feminists strongly criticize Christianity and Judaism, but they’re strangely reluctant to oppose Islam — as if doing so would be “racist.” They fail to understand that a religion is a belief or an ideology, not a skin color.

The new pseudo-feminists are more concerned with racism than with sexism, and disproportionately focused on Western imperialism, colonialism and capitalism than on Islam’s long and ongoing history of imperialism, colonialism, anti-black racism, slavery, forced conversion and gender and religious apartheid.

And why? They are terrified of being seen as “politically incorrect” and then demonized and shunned for it.

The Middle East and Western Africa are burning; Iran is raping female civilians and torturing political prisoners; the Pakistani Taliban are shooting young girls in the head for trying to get an education and disfiguring them with acid if their veils are askew — and yet, NOW passed no resolution opposing this.

Twenty-first century feminists need to oppose misogynistic, totalitarian movements. They need to reassess the global threats to liberty, and rekindle our original passion for universal justice and freedom.

Phyllis Chesler ( is emerita professor of psychology and the author of 16 books including “Living History: On the Front Line for Israel and the Jews, 2003-2015.”



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G7 leaders highlight women’s empowerment as a top priority

Leaders commit to reduce the gender gap in workforce participation in their countries by 25 per cent by 2025 and call on companies to apply the UN ‘Women’s Empowerment Principles’.



The world’s leading industrialized nations cited women’s economic empowerment as a top global priority in a Joint leader’s declaration presented on 8 June at the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Schloss Elmau, Germany. They also voiced their support for the Women’s Empowerment Principles, practical guidance for businesses developed through a partnership between UN Women and the United Nations Global Compact.

“We have today agreed on concrete steps with regard to health, the empowerment of women and climate protection, to play our part in addressing the major global challenges and to respond to some of the most pressing issues in the world,” reads the statement, which includes a preamble on shaping the planet’s future in this milestone year for international cooperation and sustainable development issues…We also reaffirm our commitment to continue our work to promote gender equality as well as full participation and empowerment for all women and girls.”

The declaration highlights the importance of catapulting women’s entrepreneurship as a key driver of innovation, growth and jobs.

Underlining the vital role of the private sector in creating an environment in which women can more meaningfully participate in the economy, it states “We therefore support the UN ‘Women’s Empowerment Principles’ and call on companies worldwide to integrate them into their activities. We will coordinate our efforts through a new G7 working group on women.”

The Women’s Empowerment Principles offer practical guidance to business and the private sector on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community. The Principles are designed to support companies in reviewing existing policies and practices—or establishing new ones—to realize women’s empowerment.

The declaration emphasizes the need to spur women’s economic empowerment, to reduce poverty and inequality and promote growth and benefits for all, with leaders committing “to increase the number of women and girls technically and vocationally educated and trained in developing countries through G7 measures by one-third (compared to “business as usual”) by 2030.”

“We will support our partners in developing countries and within our own countries to overcome discrimination, sexual harassment, violence against women and girls and other cultural, social, economic and legal barriers to women’s economic participation. We recognize that being equipped with relevant skills for decent work, especially through technical and vocational education and training (TVET) via formal and non-formal learning, is key to the economic empowerment of women and girls, including those who face multiple sources of discrimination (e.g. women and girls with disabilities), and to improving their employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.”

To increase career training and education for women and girls within G7 countries, leaders also commit to “continue to take steps to foster access to quality jobs for women and to reduce the gender gap in workforce participation within our own countries by 25 per cent by 2025, taking into account national circumstances including by improving the framework conditions to enable women and men to balance family life and employment, including access to parental leave and childcare.”

The Declaration welcomes the G7 Forum for Dialogue with Women to be hosted by the Presidency on 16 and 17 September 2015, as well as the “World Assembly for Women: WAW!” to be hosted by Japan, which will hold the G7 Presidency in 2016.

Source  UN women

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What the city of Toronto can learn from the Abukar sisters: Porter

I ventured up to Scarlettwood Court in search of the Abukar family’s secret.There are nine Abukar children. Eight of them are daughters.You might recall munira, daughter No. 3. She wasone of two tenants elected to the Toronto Community Housing Corp.’s board four years ago, when she was 18. She ran for city council against Rob Ford (open Rob Ford’s policard) last fall. She just graduated from Ryerson University’s criminology program and plans to apply to law school.

She is not an anomaly in her family. She’s the norm.

Daughter No. 4, Maymun, just finished her third year of a bachelor of arts at York. She was Munira’s campaign manager. In their North Etobicoke neighbourhood, she’s known for coaching the local baseball team.

Then there’s Ibada, 19. She just finished her second year at York in human resources. Their high school gave her the community spirit award for volunteering 3,000 hours, mostly at the food bank.

Daughter No. 6 is Idil. She’s volunteered at the food bank too. She’s also an A-student. On Wednesday evening, she received a $4,000 post-education scholarship from Scadding Court Community Centre and TCHC for not just her grades, but her community activism.

She was the fourth Abukar sister to get an “Investing in our Diversity” scholarship


You can see why I was driving up to Scarlettwood Court, near Lawrence Ave. W. and Scarlett Rd.

“It was Mom,” said Munira, curled on the couch in the family’s subsidized townhouse. “She was sitting on three parent-teacher councils when we were going to three different schools, and she chaired two at the same time!”

Her surrounding sisters nod their heads in unison.

Asha Mohamed, their mom, smiles broadly. She followed her husband to Canada 25 years ago, with their eldest two children. They were refugees from Mogadishu, where the civil war was erupting.

Her community activism was triggered by pizza — pepperoni pizza, that none of her children could eat during their primary school’s pizza lunch days. “I went to the parent council to ask them why they don’t order halal pizza,” she said.

The council was unconvinced, so she brought some samples to the next meeting. “That’s why, right now, Westmount (Junior School) only eats halal,” she said.

That wasn’t that, though. It rarely is. “I wanted to understand people and help them understand why I dress like I dress like I do, what I eat. I wanted to share with them,” said Mohamed, 51. So she organized the school’s international night, where kids would travel from Diwali to Chinese New Year, Rosh Hashanah to Eid. It too became tradition.

One summer, maybe nine years ago, a Toronto Community Housing representative asked for Mohamed’s help organizing a community barbecue — halal of course. She went door to door, inviting neighbours. She saw many were financially strapped, so she and some other women approached Walmart and Staples and secured donations. Every family left the barbecue with a bag of school supplies.

In each case, Mohamed’s children formed her logistics team — making up posters, setting up tables, doling out bags.

“When something needed to be done, she’d say ‘I have nine kids, that’s 18 pair of hands.’ I didn’t call it volunteering, I called it being volun-told,” Munira said. “At a certain age, we appreciated being involved.”

The neighbourhood food bank where Ibada still volunteers was created, in part, by her mom.

Mohamed became a tenant representative at TCHC the year before Munira ran for the board.

“I’m proud. The government of Canada allowed me to come here as a refugee. That’s why I give back to my community,” she said. “I want to teach my kids to help people who need it. Give back to your community what you have. If you don’t have money, give back muscle.”

Through all this, the Abukar family survived on the salary of Aden Abukar, a cab driver.

Muscle would only get them so far. It’s safe to say the scholarships made the difference between a few girls going to university and all of them going.

The scholarships were created in 2002 in response to racist graffiti appearing around Alexandra Park, near Bathurst and Dundas. The idea was to combat hate with opportunity, and to help build role models in marginalized communities who would slowly change the city’s perception of race.

By my estimation, it’s working beautifully.

“It wasn’t just the money,” said Munira. “The scholarship gave me the confidence that someone else believed in me and believed I could . . . make a difference in the world.”

That first year, there were two recipients from Alexandra Park. This year, there are 46 from across the city.

Catherine Porter can be reached at


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Child marriage: we must urge action to stop girls’ initiation rites

In this picture taken Friday, July 20, 2012, Aicha, 14, poses in her bedroom in the remote village of Kaihi Niger. Originally from Hawkantaki, Aicha has been married for seven months. Niger has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world.  (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

In this picture taken Friday, July 20, 2012, Aicha, 14, poses in her bedroom in the remote village of Kaihi Niger. Originally from Hawkantaki, Aicha has been married for seven months. Niger has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world. (AP Photo/Jerome DelayUp to 142 million children will be married by 2020 unless we tackle archaic customs that justify FGM and teach young girls how to please men sexually

At a recent international conference in the Moroccan city of Casablanca, a light was shed on to the practice of initiation ceremonies in which girls as young as eight are coerced to attend customary rites that “teach” them to please a man in bed as part of the preparation for womanhood.

In this photo taken Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 a girl sifts roadside sand to seperate the stones to sell as building material in Inchope, northern Mozambique.  Inchope lies at the crossroads of the highway from Zimbabwe to the eastern port of Beira and the main route to the capital, Maputo, more than 1,000 kilometers (600 miles), to the south. Mozambique's fast-growing economy, bolstered by energy reserves and other natural resources, could suffer if political tension and sporadic violence persist in this strategic location. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

In this photo taken Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 a girl sifts roadside sand to seperate the stones to sell as building material in Inchope, northern Mozambique. Inchope lies at the crossroads of the highway from Zimbabwe to the eastern port of Beira and the main route to the capital, Maputo, more than 1,000 kilometers (600 miles), to the south. Mozambique’s fast-growing economy, bolstered by energy reserves and other natural resources, could suffer if political tension and sporadic violence persist in this strategic location. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Common in parts of southern Africa, especially in Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia, these ceremonies are held to prepare girls for married life. According to Girls Not Brides – a global partnership of more than 450 civil society organisations committed to ending child marriage – up to 142 million children will be married by the end of the decade if there is no intervention in some of the archaic customs of communities across the world.

My own country, Mozambique, has the 10th highest child marriage rate in the world – with 48% of girls married before they are 18 – and Zambia has the 15th highest – at 42%.

For me, as a child protection worker in this field for nearly a decade, the Casablanca conference was key in highlighting the issue of child marriage. It was an opportunity to discuss some of the challenges and to urge authorities to put a stop to customs that infringe the rights and freedoms of children – in particular, young girls.

Contrary to recent reports in sections of the global media, these initiation ceremonies are not “forced sex camps”.
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However, there is no doubt that some communities continue to carry out these “rites of passage” events, which have been banned by authorities. In Mozambique, such ceremonies involve female elders, “matrons”, who educate girls as young as nine on how to satisfy their husbands sexually.


Perhaps most disturbingly, the girls are also subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) in the form of labia minor lengthening and clitoral dilation – both of which are believed to enhance male pleasure. In the Cabo Delgado region of northern Mozambique, this practice is called “Ithuna” , which means deflowering of the smaller labia. It involves the application of castor oil on to the genital area while the girls’ labia are forcibly stretched up to 10cm. In the same process, ash is also used in order to dilate the clitoris.

As shocking as it might seem, these ceremonies are very popular in the communities where they are held. Two months ago, I led an awareness workshop with parents in the town of Nchancha where one father told me how the ceremonies – which typically last up to seven days – teach young girls about personal hygiene, sex within marriage, as well as moral guidance and family values.

“I would save my whole life to have my children attending initiation ceremonies because it’s important they learn what their ancestors knew, they must be prepared for married life,” he said.

As development professionals on the ground, we know that initiation rites lead to early and forced marriages. World Vision works closely with local communities and faith leaders, to understand the reasons behind child marriage; and to assess the impact of initiation rites on girls’ education.

We know from our work with teachers in the Muecate district that school drop-out rates increase significantly from 7th to 8th grade. We estimate that more than 40% of 15- to 19-year-old girls are becoming wives and mothers as they leave education for good around this time.

A girl sifts roadside sand to separate the stones to sell as building material in Inchope, northern Mozambique. Facebook Twitter Pinterest
A girl sifts roadside sand to separate the stones to sell as building material in Inchope, northern Mozambique. Photograph: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP Photo

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Not all girls are forced to leave school after initiation, but when you consider that 18% of children are married before the age of 15, and more than 50% are married before 18, you can see how widespread early marriage is. These figures, coupled with the fact that more than one in three Mozambican girls are mothers, show the scope of the challenge we face.

As one teacher told me: “Most young girls don’t complete education because once they attend these ceremonies they become adults and they don’t care about school any more. Parents save money to pay for these ceremonies, but they complain about investing in their children’s education.”

We seek to combat the negative aspects of initiation rites in three ways: raising community awareness through training of community leaders, offering technical assistance to government institutions; and providing economic support for girls at risk or who are already married.

It’s no secret that Mozambique struggles with high levels of poverty and illiteracy, but we are determined to improve the lives of girls. We believe girls deserve to have the freedom to choose whom they marry and when they have babies. They need to be treated with respect and the government must increase efforts to make that a reality.

Persilia Muianga is World Vision senior child protection manager

Source   Gaurdian

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Syria, Iraq girls shipped naked after being sold at ISIL slave bazaars: UN


A displaced Iraqi woman from the Izadi community, who fled the violence by Takfiri ISIL group in the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, is seen at the Dawodiya camp for internally displaced people in the Kurdish city of Dohuk, Iraq. (© AFP)

The United Nations says the Takfiri ISIL terrorist group has been offering Syrian and Iraqi girls for sale by putting them on show “stripped naked” in “slave bazaars.”

Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Bangura made the harrowing revelation on Thursday while briefing journalists on her “scoping mission” to Syria, Iraq and some other countries in the region in April.

“Girls are literally being stripped naked and examined in slave bazaars” of the ISIL, Bangura said, adding that the girls were “categorized and shipped naked off to Dohuk (Province) or Mosul or other locations to be distributed among ISIL leadership” and militants.

Bangura visited Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan from April 16 to 29 and interviewed girls and women who had escaped ISIL captivity and survived sexual violence.

“Women and girls are at risk and under assault at every point of their lives,” Bangura said, stressing that they are in danger at “every step of the way… in the midst of active conflict, in areas under control of armed actors, at check-points and border crossings, and in detention facilities.”


The file photo shows a displaced Izadi girl living in an unfinished building outside the town of Dohuk, in Iraq’s Kuridistan region.


The UN special representative went on to say that the Takfiri group utilizes sexual violence as a “tactic” to humiliate and demoralize those who are against the ISIL and to punish and displace dissenters.

“ISIL have institutionalized sexual violence and the brutalization of women as a central aspect of their ideology and operations, using it as a tactic of terrorism to advance their key strategic objectives,” she said.

Elaborating on the motives of the Takfiri group for advancing sexual violence, the UN official further said that ISIL uses the tactic to extract information for intelligence purposes and to dismantle social, familial and community structures.

Giving an example of the brutalities of the ISIL group against the girls and women, she noted that a certain girl was forced to marry Takfiri terrorists 20 times and was forced to undergo surgery to regain her virginity after each marriage.


Iraqi Izadi women who fled the ISIL terror group in the Iraqi town of Sinjar (file photo)


Bangura called on the UN Security Council to take measures to counter such crimes, expressing concerns about the children born of rape. She also said that such children create “a generation of stateless children” who could provide fertile ground for future extremism.

The ISIL militants have been accused of committing gross human rights violations and war crimes in Syria and Iraq, including rape, summary executions, mass kidnappings, and massacres.


Source   Press  TV

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UN human rights expert urges Somalia to further protect human rights during State-building process


GENEVA, — The United Nations Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, Bahame Tom Mukirya Nyanduga, urged the Federal Government of Somalia to continue putting in place measures aimed at improving the human rights situation, while commending them for the gradual improvement in the political and security situation in the country.

Mr. Bahame Nyanduga urged the Somali federal and regional authorities to ensure civil society and the media can enjoy freedom of expression. “Somali journalists are often harassed, arrested, censored, even imprisoned, and media organisations are closed down,” he said after his second mission to the Federal Republic of Somalia, from 22 to 29 May.

“Such incidents risk having a chilling effect on this basic right, particularly essential at a time when Somalia moves towards finalising its State-building process,” the expert said. “I call on the Government to put in place a legal framework that guarantees the freedom of the media, to practise their profession free of intimidation, harassment and imprisonment.”

The Independent Expert also expressed concern at the continued application of the death penalty throughout Somalia, despite the commitment to adopt a moratorium on capital punishment made by the Government to the UN Human Rights Council during the Universal Periodic Review in 2011. “I encourage the Somali authorities to put in place that moratorium,” he stressed.

Mr. Bahame Nyanduga drew attention to the apparent weakness in security and justice institutions, particularly the failure by the police to provide adequate security for the civilian population, including in camps for internally displaced people.

In response, the Government explained its efforts to increase police recruitment, particularly of female police officers and to enhance their technical capacity. Officials also outlined the efforts undertaken to provide protection to victims of rape and gender-based violence, and to encourage victims to use the formal justice system rather than the traditional justice system.

The UN Independent Expert commended Somalia for agreeing to grant access to the Human Rights Section of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) to monitor conditions at the Serendi Rehabilitation Centre. He urged the Federal Government and regional authorities to improve the conditions in detention facilities and to particularly address the problem of overcrowding and ensure the construction of separate facilities for juvenile offenders.

Mr. Bahame Nyanduga encouraged the authorities to carry out wide consultations throughout the country to complete Somalia’s report to the Human Rights Council. Somalia’s human rights record will be reviewed in 2016 by other UN Member States through the Universal Periodic Review process.

The Independent Expert urged the Federal Government and the regional authorities to engage in dialogue with traditional and religious leaders in the lead-up to the constitutional referendum and elections in 2016 to encourage inclusive participation of women, minorities and persons with disabilities in the political process.

During his eight-day mission, the UN Independent Expert held discussions with various government officials from the Federal Government of Somalia, the Administrations of Puntland, Jubbaland, the Interim South West Administration as well as with Somaliland.

He also held meetings with representatives of various UN agencies, UNSOM, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and engaged with civil society including the media, and representatives of persons with disabilities, women, children and minority rights organisations.

Mr. Bahame Nyanduga will submit a comprehensive report with recommendations to the Human Rights Council in September 2015 aimed at assisting government to fulfil its human rights obligations.
SOURCE United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)


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ISIL’s sex slaves recount horrific stories of rape, abuse



A Chechen ISIL militant ‘cleaned’ 19-year-old Dalia with petrol before raping her… Daily Hürriyet interviews ISIL’s Yazidi sex slaves in three refugee camps in northern Iraq, publishing their harrowing accounts.

Dalia: Sold seven times


They were kidnapped, sold as sex slaves and raped for months at the hands of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants.

Hundreds of them managed to reach safety in the territory of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), either by escaping from ISIL by themselves or by the help of their relatives who paid a ransom.

We met the Yazidi women and girls in the Baadre, Shariya and Kepertu refugee camps in the northern Iraqi city of Dohuk, listening to their immensely disturbing accounts of abuse in captivity

Dalia is a high school student from the Herdan village on Sinjar Mountain in northern Iraq. She was only 19 years old when she finally escaped from ISIL on April 4.

She hardly speaks now, often with tearful eyes and with long periods of silence between difficult phrases that describe not only brutality, but also everything that is against humanity.

Dalia was abused, raped and tortured during nine months in captivity. She was sold and bought seven times by different militants.

School turns into slave market 

“On Aug. 3, 2014, we woke up to see ISIL militants raiding our village. Everyone was trying to escape, but they caught us,” she said.

Here is the rest of her account:

“They gathered us in the village square. ‘You will either convert to Islam or you will die,’ they said. We agreed to convert out of fear. But anyway, they took all the village’s men away and we never heard of them again.

“They sorted the young women from the old. They brought the young women and children to Tel Afar [a northern Iraqi city]. And then they took away the children who were older than 5, including my brother. They imprisoned us at a school in Tel Afar. It was like a slave market. ISIL’s amirs, including Turks, Germans and Chechens, came each day and bought one of us. There were 12- to 13-year-old girls.

Concubines as gift 

“A Turkmen ISIL militant from Tel Afar brought me to his home, where his wife and three children were also living. I stayed with him for five months. One day, an ISIL amir named Abu Mustafa forcibly took me from there and presented me as a gift to another amir named Aymen, who was Chechen.

“Before raping me, Aymen pulled my hair and forced my head into a bucket full of petrol. ‘You are so dirty, this is how we clean you,’ he said. Then he imprisoned me in his house and raped me for three days.

“Then I was exchanged with another Yazidi girl, who was made a concubine by Abu Salih. He raped me one night and then sent me back to Aymen. After 10 days, Abu Mustafa returned and bought me back, telling Aymen that I had been given as a gift as a concubine, not to be exchanged.

“I stayed at Abu Mustafa’s house for a month. Then he sold me to a man from Mosul named Izam. He was taking me at nights, raping me before bringing me back to my mother the following morning. I was going with him each night, crying.”

ISIL’s rules of enslaving 

“After a month, he also sold me. I stayed with another man from Mosul until he got bored of me. Then an ISIL doctor in Tel Afar bought me, who treated me like Izam.

“One day I resisted him at the risk of being murdered. The ISIL leader in the village heard about it and told the doctor that Yazidi girls can ‘only be owned by one person, and cannot be sold every day.’

“Then he sold me to an Arab from Kirkuk, who later revealed to me that he bought me not to rape me, but to free me in Kurdistan. With him, I went to Karbala, then to Baghdad and finally to Zakho, where he handed me over to the Kurdish police.

“My father was working in Zakho. He came to pick me up from the police station. When I saw him again, I thought I was flying. He started to cry. I was so happy that I almost forgot about everything I experienced.”

Leyla: From Iraq to Syria

Leyla, 20, was captured by ISIL when militants raided the Kocho village on Sinjar Mountain on Aug. 15, 2014. Since then, her mother, two sisters and brother have been ISIL’s captives. Her father, on the other hand, is still missing.

“They carried away all the village’s men with trucks,” Leyla said in her account.

Although her account resembles Dalia’s story on the main aspects of ISIL’s tactics, like separating and possibly killing all Yazidi men while taking women and children to schools converted into slave markets, its details show how torment and torture at the hands of ISIL varied for each girl and woman.

“They kept us in an empty building in Mosul for two days. Then they brought us to Raqqa,” Dalia said, referring to ISIL’s self-declared capital in northern Syria.

Here is the rest of her account:

“ISIL militants were coming every day to pick three or four girls they liked. One day they bought my sisters and brought them to Mosul. Then, an ISIL militant bought me and another girl before taking us to the Iraqi town of Husaybah, which is a six-hour drive away.

‘Caliph’s order’ 

“He locked us in a house in Husaybah, then sold us to another ISIL militant. He took me back to Syria, to Aleppo. For four days, he raped me while I was handcuffed. Then he sold me to an Egyptian militant.

“The Egyptian brought me to Raqqa, imprisoned me and raped me for eight months. I begged him so many times, but he ignored me. ‘It is the caliph’s [ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s] order,’ he said in reply.

“I thought of committing suicide many times, but I decided not to do it because then my family would not be able to find my corpse. One day, when he was away, I used the home phone to call my uncle, who had a friend in Raqqa. He promised me to help. I escaped and met him at an Internet cafe. Then he took me to Turkey with his motorcycle. We crossed the border illegally and I met my uncle in a restaurant in [the southeastern Turkish city of] Şanlıurfa. I burst into tears when I saw him.”

Selma: Giving birth in captivity

When we met Selma, 26, she had liberated from ISIL just 12 days previously. She has a 4-year-old son and a 6-month-old daughter, who was born when the mother was still a captive in the house of an ISIL militant.

Here is her account:

“After they raided our village in Sinjar, they took me to the city of Tal Afar with the other Yazidi women. My son was with me. They kept us in prison for one month, then they transported us to Raqqa in Syria. They put us together with some 500 women in the top floor of a building. Then ISIL militants came over and started to buy us one by one. One of them bought me with my son and took us to his home. My daughter was born there. Then he sold us to an ISIL militant for 2,600 dollars, who would later sell us to another man from Aleppo for 4,000 dollars. I found a mobile phone in his house and called my husband secretly. Then my husband paid him 20,000 dollars to take me back. My children and I fled to Turkey first, then we went to Zakho via Şanlıurfa.”

Bahar treated as ‘property’

Bahar, 15, was kept as a slave together with her cousins Hadiya, 24, and Nawin, 19, in the house of a married ISIL militant from Saudi Arabia.

“He would beat all of us every day, and he would sexually abuse us at night. His wife said, ‘I would help you if I could,’ but she couldn’t do anything either. ‘We founded the caliphate in order to spread Islam, so you have to convert to Islam,’ he said. We agreed to convert because we didn’t want to die. But still nothing changed in his behaviour. He kept saying ‘Yazidis are infidels, you are our property.’

“We tried to escape a couple of times, but we couldn’t succeed.  One day he came over and said, ‘I am leaving to Kobane for jihad.’ And he left us at the house of another ISIL militant. He also kept another Yazidi girl at home.

“This girl’s uncle called someone that he knew in Raqqa. ‘I paid him, so he is going to help you to escape,’ her uncle said. We called the guy, and he told us to meet at the square in Raqqa at 1 p.m. He took us by taxi and brought us to the Turkish border. We crossed the border and went to Gaziantep with the help of a Kurdish person from Diyarbakır. Then we went to Zakho through the Halil İbrahim Border Gate in Cizre.”

Rudeyna’s family taken hostage

One of the 216 Yazidi hostages that ISIL released a few weeks ago was 10-year-old Rudeyna, who was kidnapped and kept by ISIL for nine months.

“They tortured and beheaded people in front of this poor child, she is highly traumatized,” her aunt told us before we start talking to Rudeyna.

“It was as if she was insane when she first arrived, yelling and crying all the time. She still sees nightmares every night. She starts crying whenever she sees a bearded man,” the aunt added.

Shooting randomly 

After Rudeyna agreed to talk to us, we went inside the tent in which they have been staying with her aunt in the Kepertu refugee camp:

“I was so scared when they [ISIL] attacked our village last August. We hid inside a room with my mother, but they caught us. They started shooting randomly and killed our neighbours before our eyes. They captured all of my family that day, they took all of us to different places. They also took my brothers and sisters. I haven’t seen my mother and father since that day…”

Most vicious people on Earth 

ISIL militants separated Rudeyna from her parents and took her to Mosul with her grandmother.

“They put us in a school with many other Yazidi women. A couple of days later, they came and took all the young girls,” Rudeyna added. “They told us we would never be able to see our families again. They tortured the women who tried to resist. They also did bad things to me. They are the most vicious people on Earth.”

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