By Russ Read
Islamic State is selling Yazidi girls and women in an underground sex slave market in Turkey, according to a report by Germany’s broadcast service ARD.
According to the report, the underground black market is based in the Turkish town of Gaziantep, close to the Turkish-Syrian border.
“IS [Islamic State or ISIS] offers women and underage children in a kind of virtual slave market with for-sale photos. … The transfer of money, as the reporter discovered, takes place through a liaison office in Turkey,” reports German station NDR (NDR is part of the German ARD media consortium).
The sale of the girls and women follows a sort of auction pattern, with the highest bidder winning. According to the reports, prices for the women can go as high as $15,000 to $20,000 each. After bidding, the money is transferred through middle men in Turkey, eventually reaching ISIS coffers.
“Some of those women and girls have had to watch 7-, 8-, and 9-year-old children bleed to death before their eyes, after being raped by ISIS militia multiple times a day,” says Mirza Ismail, chairman of the Yazidi Human Rights Organization-International, speaking on the plight of Yazidi girls in the hands of ISIS.
Yazidis are part of a small and ancient religious sect in the Sinjar region in northern Iraq. ISIS assaulted the region in August of 2014, massacring as many as 5,000 while displacing and capturing countless more. The attacks have been described as genocidal by the U.N. ISIS hatred for the Yazidis comes from their worship of Melek Taus, an angel in the Yazidi tradition who ISIS regards as the fallen angel Satan, therefore making the Yazidis devil worshipers in their eyes.
Exact numbers of Yazidi women held by ISIS are unknown, however it is believed it could be in the thousands.
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