TRIGGER WARNING: This article deals with accounts of sexual assault and violence. It may be distressing to readers.
By HANNAH PAINE
The physically violent atrocities commited by Islamic State are both well documented and horrifying. But now new evidence has emerged today showing violence of a sexual nature being perpetrated by Islamic State against young women and girls.
A chilling video has been released showing IS fighters bartering and selling captured girls as sex slaves — thought to be women of the Yazidi religious minority, captured during an ISIS attack on Mount Sinjar in August — at a market.
As if they were bags of rice, decorative vases or cattle, the young women are paraded around the market and sold to the highest bidder. The fate that awaits them following sale is a life of no autonomy, constant and merciless sexual abuse and a life devoid of hope.
The video footage was shot in the northwestern city of Mosul in Iraq, which was seized by Islamic State fighters in June. Please be warned, the footage may be distressing for some readers.
The video, which was obtained by local news station AlAan TV, starts off with one fighter announcing: “Today is the slave market day.” The bartering begins as the men argue about prices — with one militant offering three banknotes (roughly $100), and another agreeing to trade a girl for a gun.
The men continue to bargain, discussing how the colour of her eyes, her looks and her teeth will affect the price paid. The men laugh and joke between themselves as they boast about how many slaves they each have.
Sadly, the distressing footage is not the first indication of Islamic State’s mistreatment of women.
As Mamamia previously reported, international humanitarian organisations have been reporting the assault of girls in Syria and Iraq for months, and last month the radical organisation admitted to the atrocities for the first time in a propaganda magazine.
A disturbing interview published in Italian newspaper La Repubblica last month revealed that in northern Iraq, 40 women are kept captive in three barred rooms near the city of Mosul and raped by fighters up to three times a day.
Last month, a Yazidi woman held by IS militants also telephoned Kurdish forces, describing how she was brutally raped 30 times in mere hours, and could no longer use the bathroom properly.
Another 19-year-old Kurdish girl told CNN how she and other women from her town were rounded up and traded like cattle between ISIS men.
The Yazidis are one of the oldest religious sects in the Middle East, and are a popular target for Islamic State due to their mystical beliefs and Kurdish ethnicity.
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