CCTV talked to women, girls escaped from ISIL’s capture

World Today

In northern Iraq, thousands of women and girls of the Yazidi community were held by ISIL. They were reported to have suffered rape, abuse and sexual slavery at the hands of their captors. A few have been lucky enough to escape and have recounted their harrowing stories. CCTV’s Ding Siyue reported.

CCTV talked to women, girls escaped from ISIL's capture

In northern Iraq, thousands of women and girls of the Yazidi community were held by ISIL. They were reported to have suffered rape, abuse and sexual slavery at the hands of their captors. A few have been lucky enough to escape and have recounted their harrowing stories. CCTV's Ding Siyue reported.

Eighteen-year-old Payam, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, was held for one month before she was rescued. She was taken in August when Islamic State fighters overran her village.

“They locked us up with other girls and didn’t allow us to eat or drink. After a few days being locked up, we found girls were taken away every day. One day, they gathered us into a room. They looked at us one by one to decide which ones to take away,” she said.

Payam now lives in a refugee camp in Duhok in northern Iraq with her family. She said she did not know where the girls were being taken to.

Eisha, another young woman whose name has been altered, had a similar experience.

Eisha was pregnant when her husband was killed by militants and she was taken to prison. She said she thought of suicide many times, but kept going because she wanted her child to have a future.

She was sold at a slave market in Mosul for about $13.

“A lot of people came to buy. The price was around 15,000 dinar. Most buyers were from Mosul and Anbar. Some were from other majority Sunni areas. A lot of women were sold to men who were older than them,” Eisha said.

Reports from human rights groups, including Amnesty International, said that Yazidi women are regularly sold to fighters as sex slaves, and are sometimes forced to marry their abusers.