1,500 Yazidi and Christian persons may have been forced into sexual slavery


Two UN officials have condemned the avalanche of sexual violence that IS is perpetrating on Iraqi minorities.

13 August 2014 – Two senior United Nations officials today condemned in the strongest terms the “barbaric acts” of sexual violence and “savage rapes” the armed group Islamic State (IS) has perpetrated on minorities in areas under its control.

In a joint statement from Baghdad, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence (SRSG) in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov urged the immediate protection of civilians.

“We are gravely concerned by continued reports of acts of violence, including sexual violence against women and teenage girls and boys belonging to Iraqi minorities,” Ms. Bangura and Mr. Mladenov said.

“Atrocious accounts of abduction and detention of Yazidi, Christian, as well as Turkomen and Shabak women, girls and boys, and reports of savage rapes, are reaching us in an alarming manner,” Ms. Bangura and Mr. Mladenov stated, pointing out that some 1,500 Yazidi and Christian persons may have been forced into sexual slavery.

The officials condemned, in the strongest terms, the explicit targeting of women and children and the barbaric acts IS has perpetrated on minorities. Acts of sexual violence are grave human rights violations that can be considered as war crimes and crimes against humanity, they warned.

There seems little chance that it will end anytime soon.

Comments

  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    Some anti-war people are already floating the claim that this is another Belgian nuns/Kuwaiti incubator babies item of black propaganda to promote western intervention in Syria.

    So far, none that I’ve seen has offered anything like specific evidence.

  2. exi5tentialist says

    More horror for the US to answer for (unless, of course, we’ve now officially excised its 2003 destruction of Iraq from our collective memory)

  3. Decker says

    More horror for the US to answer for (unless, of course, we’ve now officially excised its 2003 destruction of Iraq from our collective memory)

    My my…so we’ll just have to overlook these atrocities in order to get a jab in at America. Bush! Hitler!

    Perhaps it’s all just a Zionist plot, eh?

  4. lorn says

    exi5tentialist says @ #2:

    1) The Sunni versus Shia conflict long predates the US invasion.

    2) The US invasion removed the Sunni minority from power in the Iraqi armed forces and leadership and largely replaced it with Shia power blocks. The US then financed, and attempted to equip and train the Shia majority leadership and military.

    3) ISIS is almost exclusively a Sunni organization and it is financially backed by Sunni dominated Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

    So, unless you wish to equate their removal from political power and the military within Iraq, building up the Shia power base, dismantling the Sunni led Al-Qaeda in Iraq with US empowering of Sunnis and ISIS then you are wrong.

    You have a point only if your intent is to lament a lost opportunity to commit genocide and imply that we should have exterminated the Iraqi Sunnis. The present ISIS leadership organization was damaged by being pushed out of power, and ultimately out of Iraq, but it was not destroyed. Like selective pressure on bacteria those that survived were tougher and more ruthless, and now they have returned with an attitude.

    —–
    I suspect that ISIS is typical of most highly motivated light forces. They move fast and can concentrate quickly to overwhelm local defenses. This is made worse by the weakness of the Iraqi forces who were led by cronies and party loyalists instead of trained military professionals.

    Light forces are always vulnerable to logistical interruptions, morale failures, and attrition. Each weakness feeds the other two. Reports I’m seeing say that even the very limited airstrikes have had a profound effect on morale. Riding a heavily armed gun truck moving at 100 kph at the head of an army that is sure God is on their side is heady stuff. The shine kind of comes off when you realize that the truck is completely exposed and vulnerable to a drone that could, at that very moment, be watching unseen from high in the sky.

    Add to this some potential interruption of funding from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, slowly growing difficulties refueling, repairing and rearming because stockpiles and concentrations are obvious targets, and it stops being fun.

    The predictable response is that ISIS will shift toward a more international terrorist organization to extract concessions and payments, and a shift toward being a much more urban located guerrilla force to gain the protection of the population. No more blasting around the desert in a gun truck. Unfortunately ISIS has gone out of its way to alienate many local populations and most potentially friendly nations so its success in shifting to a guerrilla force is in doubt. A guerrilla force without a safe haven behind a protective national border and a sponsor nation is always in danger of having its logistical needs denied. Historically forced without those things are able to live off the land for a time but they are ultimately doomed.

    Logistics rule the battlefield.

  5. exi5tentialist says

    @4

    I know Sunni versus Shia long predates the US invasion. People here keep reminding me that it goes back to the 8th century. Thus Wikipedia speaketh. But as I keep saying, all those people are long dead, and the humanity we live in is the creation of the living. And in our living era, Sunni and Shia have a history not only of conflict but also of co-existence. Wikipedian ancient histories are ours for the discarding. They do not determine us. Any of us.

    I know that the US invasion, amongst many other things, removed the Sunni minority from power in the Iraqi armed forces and leadership and largely replaced it with Shia power blocks. Note your words, “the US invasion” at the beginning of your second paragraph. It has the whiff of smoking-gun about it, don’t you think?

    I know that ISIS is almost exclusively a Sunni organization and it is financially backed by Sunni dominated Qatar and Saudi Arabia. And the power vacuum into which it has moved was created by the US invasion. See your point number 2)

    I know all this. Now…

    So, unless you wish to equate their removal from political power and the military within Iraq, building up the Shia power base, dismantling the Sunni led Al-Qaeda in Iraq with US empowering of Sunnis and ISIS then you are wrong.

    Characterising pre-2003 politics in Iraq as being all about Sunni-v-Shia is inaccurate and patronising. It certainly suits the apologetics for present-day military intervention by the US in Northern Iraq to explain the current conflict in terms of the US being a facilitator of Shia majority liberation in 2003, and to present the Shia-Sunni relationship as being a major historical conflict going back to ancient history. But really, the relationship between Shia and Sunni was a much more minor factor than is the case in the post-invasion/occupation situation of desperation a large section of the Iraqi population finds itself in today. In a situation of desperation, starker sectarian lines have been drawn than previously existed. That is America’s fault.

    Also, may I just say that I do not think the point I have made – that the US destruction of the Iraqi economy, infrastructure, state and society has directly resulted in the rise of ISIS in Iraq – is dependent on my having an intent to lament a lost opportunity to commit genocide or to exterminate the Iraqi sunnis. For the record, I have no intent to commit genocide or exterminate anyone.

    I agree with the point in the blog that “there seems little chance that this will end any time soon.” But that is an unfinished statement. What could possibly end it? The question is left hanging in the air. Meanwhile, the western powers are preparing a military solution. And the recent history of Iraq shows that when the west interferes, the situation gets worse. That’s why it’s so important not to just leave the question of what might end this problem hanging in the air. If ISIS is to be opposed, then the US and western powers must also be opposed, because they are the source of the problem, not the solution.

  6. says

    Just to add to the horror, I head an interview with a Yazidi man who said that now they could never return to their homes and wives and daughters, because they’d been “dishonored.” An entire culture would literally rather spend their lives in exile – and allow their female family members to remain in slavery! – than return to their families because their wives had been victimized.

    Appalling.

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