Yazidi sex slave held by ISIS with her baby reveals how they forced girls to give transfusions to keep wounded fighters alive
- First Yazidi sex slave to bravely reveal her identity exposes horror of ISIS
- Hamshe describes being held captive by jihadis with her young baby boy
- The 19-year-old was seized after her husband was murdered by militants
- She says: ‘They forced Yazidi girls to give blood to wounded fighters’
- BBC Arabic investigation finds pioneering activist tracking hundreds of kidnapped victims
A pregnant teenager who was captured by Islamic State militants has revealed how girls are being forced to give blood transfusions to keep their attackers alive.
Hamshe – who is understood to be the first Yazidi slave to reveal her identity – has told of how sickening Islamist jihadists have been using the blood of captured women and children for wounded fighters in the battlefield.
The 19-year-old, who also has a baby with her husband who is believed to have been murdered by militants, was held captive for 28 days before she escaped.
She said: ‘When each of them took a Yazidi girl, one of them took me to his house and locked me inside a room and told me ‘I will not give you food or water if you refuse to marry me’.’
‘They forced the Yazidi girls to donate blood to IS wounded fighters. Which God allows these acts?’
Dressed in all black and wearing a headscarf while slumped on a dirty floor in Iraq, she described how she managed to run away from her captors while holding her baby.
‘One night my baby was crying from thirst. I knocked at the door and saw all the guards sleeping outside. I took a bottle of water from them and I ran away with my baby and walked for four hours’, she said.
She said she came across an Arab man who took her into his home and looked after her for three days. She added: ‘Then they drove me to a Peshmerga checkpoint in Barda Rash. I was at the checkpoint for 7 hours. Then my brother came and took me back home.’
Her mother added: ‘I couldn’t imagine that my daughter will come back. We thank God for that. Our family is destroyed. The Yazidi community has been destroyed.
‘This tragedy has done us enough damage for the rest of our lives.’
Speaking of the moment she was captured by IS militants and moved to a different location in Iraq, Hamshe added: ‘I can never forget when they separated men and women from each other. It was very painful to witness women and girls being taken as a war spoils.
‘Each IS fighter was holding the hand of a Yazidi girl and took her for himself. It was harder than facing death.’
Her plight – and that of many others – was revealed in a new documentary, Slaves of the Caliphate, which screened on BBC Arabic.
Activist Nareen Shammo has been keeping tracks of hundreds of kidnapped women and has worked tirelessly to locate them and negotiate their return. She said of the blood transfusions: ‘I work on the Yazidi cases every day.
‘This is the first time I’ve heard such a thing, they even take our girls and old women’s blood. They use it for their wounded IS fighters.’
It is the latest example of the depraved lengths Islamist jihadists are willing to go to in the name of Islam.
The horror of Isis fighters taking Yazidi sex slaves was revealed in an Amnesty International report last December. It found that Islamic State is kidnapping thousands of women and girls as young as 12. They are then traded in open markets as sex slaves for as little as £16 each.
After being abducted from their homes, they are sold as playthings to the highest bidder, usually IS commanders, or gifted to the ‘bravest’ fighters as rewards for their services to jihad.
Ms Shammo, who has come under constant death threats, has been using Facebook to identify young captured slaves and communicates with them on their mobiles, which they hide from the militants.
At one point during the footage, a militant seizes the phone of a girl she is trying to rescue and adds: ‘The truth is they’re in IS hands, they will convert to Islam and live under IS protection.’
Another victim, who was captured by fighters at the age of 21, said she had been told to agree to be a gift for Abu Bakir Al Baghdadi, the head of IS, but she had refused.
She said: ‘I saw everything, I saw girls being raped, I witnessed their torture. I saw babies separated from their mothers. Some children were 5 and 6 years old when they were taken from their families.
‘They killed our fathers, uncles and everyone. There is no horror I haven’t experienced. I lost my senses.
‘There is nothing worse than rape.
‘One of the leaders took a 13-year-old girl to his house, locked the room and told his children she is a Yazidi girl who converted to Islam, that he will teach her how to pray and read the Koran.
‘In fact he was raping her during that time. She told me she was raped there for three days.’
The Islamic State believe that captive Yazidi women are like property, exchanging them in some cases for as much as $10,000 each.
Over 300 women have been released since August 2014 but it is estimated that over 2600 women remain captive.
The Yazidi religious minority community in Iraq says 3,500 of its women and girls are still being held by the so-called Islamic State (IS), many being used as sex slaves.
Escaped slaves have told how they are traded in vile markets where men barter for their bodies.
According to a document, obtained by website Iraqinews.com, just £27 will fetch a Yazidi or Christian woman aged between 40 and 50.
Chillingly, a child between one and nine will fetch four times that.
One escaped slave told the BBC: ‘They put us up for sale. Many groups of fighters came to buy. We couldn’t sleep properly because new groups came at all hours,’ she says, almost whispering.
‘Sometimes they brought girls back who had been beaten, injured. When they recovered, they were sold again. Eventually, they took all the girls. The women were left behind [and sold last].
‘Whatever we did, crying, begging, it made no difference. An Islamic State sheikh took the money. It wasn’t much. A fighter showed us 15,000 Iraqi dinars [$13; £8] and said: ‘This is your price.”
Last December, a pamphlet revealed how IS has given out orders on the proper use of women as slaves.
The extremist group’s Department of Research and Fatwas (religious edicts) issued a document with the chillingly matter-of-fact title: ‘Questions and Answers on Taking Captives and Slaves’.
Posted on a jihadist web forum, and allegedly given out after prayers in Mosul, Iraq, it says Christians, Jews and Yazidi women can all be taken as slaves.
Women can be bought, sold, and given as gifts; they can be disposed of as property if a fighter dies.
The pamphlet’s Q&A format includes the following:
Question: Is it allowed to have intercourse with a female captive immediately after taking possession of her? Answer: If she is a virgin, her master can have intercourse with her immediately after taking possession. But if she is not, you must make sure she is not pregnant.
Question: Is it allowed to have intercourse with a female slave who has not reached puberty? Answer: You may have intercourse with a female slave who hasn’t reached puberty if she is fit for intercourse. However, if she is not fit for intercourse, it is enough to enjoy her without.
IS has even recorded the practice in its official publication, Daqib. It states:
‘After capture, the Yazidi women and children were then divided according to Sharia [Islamic law] amongst the fighters of Islamic State who participated in the Sinjar operations…
‘Before Satan sows doubt among the weak-minded and weak-hearted, remember that enslaving the kuffa [infidels] and taking their women as concubines is a firmly-established aspect of Sharia.’
A spokesman for Amnesty has said: ‘Despite worldwide condemnation, the IS has shown no intention of putting an end to the war crimes and crimes against humanity which its fighters have been committing on a large scale, including against the Iraqi women and girls they have abducted and continue to hold captive.
‘Any party, in Iraq or outside, with any influence over the IS should use that influence to secure the release of these captives.
‘A small proportion of those abducted have managed to escape IS captivity, many after having been subjected to acts of unspeakable brutality.
‘But the survivors interviewed by Amnesty International are not receiving the help and support they desperately need.’