Tag Archives: Sex Trafficking

Zimbabwe Child Brides Fight Back in Court

Across sub-Saharan Africa, 40 percent of women are married as children.

Across sub-Saharan Africa, 40 percent of women are married as children.

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Two former child brides have taken Zimbabwe’s government to court in a ground-breaking bid to get child marriages declared illegal and unconstitutional.

Loveness Mudzuru and Ruvimbo Tsopodzi say child marriage, which is rife in Zimbabwe, is a form of child abuse which traps girls in lives of poverty and suffering.

“I’ve faced so many challenges. My husband beat me. I wanted to stay in school but he refused. It was very, very terrible,” said Tsopodzi, a mother of one, who was married at 15.

“I want to take this action to make a difference,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Harare on Tuesday. “There are a lot of children getting married.”

Data published last year indicates one third of girls in Zimbabwe marry before their 18th birthday and 5 percent before they turn 15.

Child marriage deprives girls of education and opportunities, jeopardizes their health and increases the risks of exploitation, sexual violence, domestic abuse and death or serious injury in childbirth.

In their statements to the Constitutional Court, Tsopodzi and Mudzuru, now 19 and 20, say Zimbabwe’s Marriage Act is discriminatory because it sets the minimum age at 16 for girls and 18 for boys. The Customary Marriage Act sets no minimum age.

They say the law should be brought into line with Zimbabwe’s 2013 constitution as well as regional and international treaties banning child marriage.

The 2013 constitution says every child under 18 has the right to parental care, education and protection from “economic and sexual exploitation”.

It does not set a minimum marriage age, but states that no one should be forced to marry against their will and indicates that 18 is the minimum age for starting a family.

VICIOUS CIRCLE

Poverty is the driving force behind child marriage in Zimbabwe. Parents often marry girls off so they have one less mouth to feed. Dowry payments may be a further incentive.

Some communities also see child marriage as a way of protecting girls from having premarital sex.

In her affidavit, Mudzuru described how child marriage and poverty create a vicious circle.

“Young girls who marry early and often in poor families are then forced to produce young children in a sea of poverty and the cycle begins again,” she stated.

Mudzuru, who was married at 16 and had two children before she was 18, said her life was “hell” and she spent her days trapped in drudgery.

“My life is really tough. Raising a child when you are a child yourself is hard,” she said by phone from her home in Harare. “I should be going to school.”

The girls’ lawyer, former finance minister Tendai Biti, presented the legal challenge in January.

Beatrice Savadye, who heads rights group ROOTS which is backing the ground-breaking case, said it had generated a lot of interest both inside Zimbabwe and in other countries in the region.

She said it was unclear when the court would give its decision, but that it had to rule within six months.

Globally, some 15 million girls are married off every year. Across sub-Saharan Africa, 40 percent of women are married as children.

 

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Tortured Sex Slave Rescued by Truck Driver

Tortured Sex Slave Saved By Trucker From This Iowa Couple

Tortured Sex Slave Saved By Trucker From This Iowa Couple

A tortured sex slave, later revealed as a 20-year-old female victim, was saved by trucker Kevin Kimmel, according to WTVR. Kimmel saw the suspicious activity at a New Kent Pilot gas station and truck lot in January, and reported it to Richmond, VA, police because, “It was a no brainer what was going on.”

Kimmel, a veteran truck driver speaking about the incident for the first time, didn’t know what happened until he saw “the gruesome details through the news.” According to WTVR, what was allegedly going on was abuse, fraud, forced prostitution, and torture, among other crimes.

Kimmel said he became suspicious when he saw the victim peeking out from behind dark curtains in an RV and, in what may have been an awkward moment, thought that the black curtains didn’t appear to be, “a families RV [sic], you know.”

A guy come up and knock on the door then go inside the Pilot–then quickly came back and knocked again, all of the sudden the thing was rocking and rolling.”

That was when he called the local sheriff’s department in Virginia, who, according to Daily Mail, eventually found Aldair Hodza and Laura Sorenson inside the RV, allegedly holding the victim hostage, who appeared malnourished and tortured.

She reportedly suffered from various wounds including burns on her abdomen, groin, and her back consistent with, “being struck and stamped with a hot metal key.” She also suffered wounds on her feet that were, “consistent with nails hammered into her flesh,” according to News & Advance.

Police charged the Iowa couple with various federal crimes ranging from coercion to sex trafficking by force after they uncovered that the two had turned the alleged victim into a tortured sex slave and forced her to service “clients” as part of an online prostitution ring. According to the Daily Mail, police found photos of the alleged victim being tortured. Some photos depicted the alleged victim bound and gagged while nude and others depicted her getting bleach sprayed into open and bleeding wounds.

The couple, Sorensen, 36 and Hodza, 31, are accused of taking the victim hostage on Christmas Eve in 2014 and forcing her into prostitution. They allegedly threatened to kill the victim and her family, according to the News & Advance.

The accused couple likely used these threats to scare the alleged victim, forcing her to comply with their demands.

A common tactic used by abusers, one example would be the case of Officer Stephen Maiorino from Boynton Beach, who threatened to kill a 20-year-old rape victim after allegedly victimizing her at gunpoint on the hood of his police car in October, 2014, according to the Palm Beach Post.

According to News & Advance, the victim also accuses the Iowa couple of denying her food and water during the trip from Iowa to Virginia. Also from Iowa, the alleged victim also states her alleged abusers expected her turn all the money made as a tortured sex slave over to them for their own food and gas for the RV, a 37-foot Sun Voyager.

According to WVTR, Kimmel said, “I’m just happy I helped her.”

The couple is expected to appear in a federal court in Virginia, according to News & Advance, as federal courts prosecute sex trafficking cases much more harshly than state level courts do in Virginia.

Mysterious Man Buys ISIS Sex Slaves, Reunites Them With Family

ISIS Sex Slave Reunited

A Yazidi ISIS captive is reunited with her father after being purchased as a sex slave.

BY SAMUEL SMITH , CP REPORTER

As thousands of women and girls are being raped, abused and victimized as part of the Islamic State’s sex slave operation in Iraq and Syria, one Iraqi man is buying ISIS sex slaves in order to free and reunite them with their families.

In the Islamic State’s sex slave market, captured religious minority women, girls and even babies are sold to militants and supporters willing to dish out good money for a new jihadi bride or woman they just want to abuse and hand off to their buddies when they are finished.

Although many find it unethical to participate in the Islamic State’s human trafficking market that helps fund the terrorist organization that has killed thousands, one unnamed Iraqi man is purchasing ISIS’s sex slaves not for physical pleasure but to give them freedom.

As Walid Shoebat reports, an Iraqi man, who remains nameless, disguises himself as a human trafficking dealer in order to “infiltrate” the Islamic State and get the militants to sell him sex slaves. But in purchasing sex slaves, the man finds a way to reunite them with their fathers, husbands, and the rest of their family.

The report cites a video from the Iraqi news site Rudaw, which can be viewed through the YouTube channel StreamDZ, that shows one of the yazidi sex slaves the man purchased finally being reunited with her father. In the video, the woman and her father hug and cry tears of happiness as they are finally reunited.

For many yazidi women taken as sex slaves by ISIS, there is no guarantee that they will ever be reunited with their fathers, husbands or brothers.

The woman in the Rudaw video was fortunate that her father was still living, because ISIS killed most of the yazidi men upon capturing them last summer when they seized most the Yazidi territory. Upon seizing a Yazidi town, the militants captured the yazidi people, separated the males from the females, hauled the females away in the back of large trucks as their male family members were typically shot execution style.

While some of the boys were allegedly spared their lives and forced to start training to become militants, many of the women and girls, who were not already taken as spoils of war by ISIS militants involved in seizing the region, were taken away to the Syrian strongholds where they were to be sold as sex slaves.

Upon arriving in the stronghold, the women were held captive in tight, overpopulated rooms, until they were sold to militants.

After being sold off, the fate of the women vary. The woman in the Rudaw video was lucky because she was sold to someone who reunited her with her father. Others, however, are not so fortunate as they are usually forced to convert to Islam, marry a militant and sometimes change their names.

According to a 15-year-old Yazidi taken by ISIS as a sex slave, she was sold to a militant who tried to force her to convert to Islam and change her name to Abeer, according to The Telegraph. But she found a way to escape from her sex slavery and avoid changing her name or converting.

She drugged tea that she served to the ISIS fighter that purchased her and escaped out the door as he was unconscious.

“He told me, ‘I’m going to change your name to Abeer, so your mother doesn’t recognize you,'” the 15-year-old Yazidi girl explained. “You’ll become Muslim, then I will marry you. But I refused to become a Muslim, that’s why I fled.”

Some sex slaves are not fortunate enough to escape. Some ISIS sex slaves have taken up the practice of committing suicide just so they don’t have to endure the daily abuses they suffer.

One unnamed former ISIS captive explained to Amnesty International how one sex slave named Jilan took her own life.

“We were 21 girls in one room, two of them were very young, 10 to 12 years. One day they were given clothes that looked like dance costumes and were told to bathe and wear those clothes. Jilan killed herself in the bathroom,” the woman said. “She cut her wrists and hanged herself. She was beautiful. I think she knew that she was going to be taken away to a man and that is why she killed herself.”

Most ISIS sex slaves are Yazidi girls, though there are Muslims and Christians, too. The pricing of the girls seems to favor pedophilia, as the most expensive slaves are only one-year-old. As for the conditions these ISIS sex slaves experience, they are so horrific that one Yazidi girl wanted the West to bomb her brothel with her in it. She couldn’t stand being raped over thirty times all “before lunchtime.”

 

Hacking Group Anonymous Targets Global Pedophiles

Hacking group Anonymous to target pedophiles using the ‘dark web’ to carry out child abuse
  • Hacking group Anonymous are targeting international pedophile rings
  • ‘Operation Death Eaters’ is campaign aiming to expose ‘pedosadists’
  • Global project is building a grassroots database of international cases
  • Hopes to ultimately expose an ‘international cult’ of child sex abuse  
  • Calling on followers to research cases of high level corruption 
  • Also demands ‘end to human trafficking and abuse complicity worldwide’

By KEILIGH BAKER FOR MAILONLINE

Anonymous protesters with covered faces march from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square and then around the streets of London to protest austerity, mass surveillance and attacks on human rights on November 5, 2014.

Anonymous protesters with covered faces march from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square and then around the streets of London to protest austerity, mass surveillance and attacks on human rights on November 5, 2014.

In the wake of the Westminster child abuse scandal and allegations of establishment cover-ups, hackers Anonymous have decided to expose international pedophile networks.

The hacking group says it is is planning on collecting evidence against international pedophile rings and their abuse of children to find the links between different operations and ultimately bring the perpetrators to justice.

Named ‘Operation Death Eaters’ after Voldemort’s band of evil followers in the Harry Potter series, the group is calling for a global effort in exposing the pedophile rings through the power of social media.

A still from the Operation Death Eaters video by  Anonymous - the hacking group says it is is planning on collecting evidence against international paedophile rings to ultimately bring the perpetrators to justice

A still from the Operation Death Eaters video by Anonymous – the hacking group says it is is planning on collecting evidence against international pedophile rings to ultimately bring the perpetrators to justice

This newest Anonymous campaign comes just weeks after the group declared war on jihadists in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris.

Now, they are building a grassroots database of pedophile cases from across the world in order to ultimately expose an ‘international cult’ of child sex abuse.

A Tumblr set up to promote the campaign states: ‘The objective of opdeatheaters is an independent, international, victim-led tribunal/ inquiry into trafficking and paedosadist industry.

‘What is our first step? We need meticulously researched and clearly documented examples of high level complicity in the industry, obstruction of justice and cover ups to show the need for independent inquiries.’

The UK version of the site states: ‘The CSA inquiry in the UK is an attempt to depict a powerful cult as a string of isolated incidents of “sex abuse”.

‘The complicit UK media is running a huge propaganda campaign to conflate torture and murder with “pedophilia” and call for understanding of “pedophilia”.

‘This is not a group of sad pedophiles who need help and understanding. This is a torture and death cult with a powerful global human trafficking network.

‘We demand that torture and murder be called torture and murder, not sex. This is an international cult and needs to be investigated as one, not simply as an endless series of isolated incidents confined to the UK.

‘We call upon our comrades globally to help us investigate and demand an end to to the trafficking networks with arrests at the top not just the bottom.

‘We demand an end to human trafficking and abuse complicity worldwide.’

The Independent refers to an Anonymous statement which claims: ‘The Westminster pedophile ring is one of many cases where Operation DeathEaters has actively pursued and sought truth, in order to end the hideous crimes concealed behind the British elite.

‘In fear of these investigations being bungled over time, the operation’s objectives are clear and simple: source public information before it disappears, push for independent inquiry, and offer support to witnesses and the victims where needed.’

Anonymous also cites a number of high profile cases and investigations in the UK including Jimmy Savile, MP Cyril Smith,the claims regarding Elm Guest House and the now-defunct Paedophile International Exchange

Tens of millions of images of child abuse are believed to be circulating online on the ‘dark web’, many showing such graphic abuse that the media is turning a blind eye to the problem, experts warned this week.

Figures from the European Commission’s Global Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Online suggest 50,000 new child abuse images are uploaded each year – of which more than 70 per cent are images of children under the age of 10.

On January 10 Anonymous activists released a video condemning the gun attack at French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo which left 12 people dead.

The hacking group says it wants to collect evidence against international paedophile rings and look into their abuse of children to find the links between different operations and bring the perpetrators to justice

The hacking group says it wants to collect evidence against international paedophile rings and look into their abuse of children to find the links between different operations and bring the perpetrators to justice

In the clip, which was uploaded to the group’s Belgian YouTube account, a figure wearing the group’s Guy Fawkes mask and a hood says in French in an electronically-distorted voice: ‘We are declaring war against you, the terrorists.’

Sitting at a desk and reading from a piece of paper, the figure says the group will track down and close all accounts on social networks related to terrorists to avenge those killed.

Anonymous has previously carried out cyber attacks on websites belonging to the Government, as well as those of corporate and religious organisations.

In 2012 Anonymous crippled the Home Office’s website by flooding it with huge amounts of internet traffic.

Named 'Operation Death Eaters' after Voldemort's band of evil followers in the Harry Potter series, the group is calling for a global effort in exposing the paedophile rings through the power of social media

ANONYMOUS – THE DIGITAL ROBIN HOOD OR JUST CYBER TERRORISTS?

Hacker group Anonymous has been linked to online attacks around the world aimed at punishing governments for policies of which the hackers disapprove.

Members are known as ‘Anons’ and are distinguished by their Guy Fawkes masks.

The group are seen as anything from digital Robin Hoods to cyber terrorists for their hacking campaigns against government agencies, child pornography sites and the Klu Klux Klan.

In 2008 the online community staged a series of protests, pranks, and hacks Church of Scientology as part if its ‘Project Chanology.’

Later targets of Anonymous ‘hacktivism’ included government agencies of the US, Israel, Tunisia, Uganda, and others, copyright protection agencies; the Westboro Baptist Church; and corporations such as PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, and Sony.

In 2013 they declared war on secretive ‘chat sites’ used by pedophiles to trade images.

Last November they hacked into the Twitter account of the Ku Klux Klan after the white supremacist group distributed flyers threatening ‘lethal force’ protesters in Ferguson.

Dozens of people have been arrested for involvement in Anonymous cyberattacks, in countries including the US, UK, Australia, the Netherlands, Spain, and Turkey.

Raped and Forced to Give Blood to Jihadi Captors

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 

By LARISA BROWN FOR MAILONLINE

Sex slave: Hamshe, a Yazidi girl from Iraq, is only 19 yet has suffered enough torment for a lifetime, having been held captive as a sex slave by Isis militants for 28 days with her baby before she escaped

Sex slave: Hamshe, a Yazidi girl from Iraq, is only 19 yet has suffered enough torment for a lifetime, having been held captive as a sex slave by Isis militants for 28 days with her baby before she escaped

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?’

Hamshe's escape from captivity with Isis was dramatic: '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'

Hamshe’s escape from captivity with Isis was dramatic: ‘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’

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.

Horrific memories: Hamshe told campaigner Nareen Shammo, left, how Isis forced Yazidi girls to donate blood to IS wounded fighters. Hamshe asked: 'Which God allows these acts?'

Horrific memories: Hamshe told campaigner Nareen Shammo, left, how Isis forced Yazidi girls to donate blood to IS wounded fighters. Hamshe asked: ‘Which God allows these acts?’

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.

Too young: The BBC documentary about sex slaves being held by Isis in Iraq and Syria shows how girls in refugee camps, like this girl above, are vulnerable to attack 

Too young: The BBC documentary about sex slaves being held by Isis in Iraq and Syria shows how girls in refugee camps, like this girl above, are vulnerable to attack 

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.’

Refugee families: This little boy lives in a refugee camp where no woman or girl is safe from the attentions of Isis

Refugee families: This little boy lives in a refugee camp where no woman or girl is safe from the attentions of Isis

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.

Human tragedy: Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, walked towards the Syrian border last August 11, 2014

Human tragedy: Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, walked towards the Syrian border last August 11, 2014

Living in misery: A woman collects water in a Yazidi refugee camp in Iraq where Isis target vulnerable girls as young as 12 to become sex slaves 

Living in misery: A woman collects water in a Yazidi refugee camp in Iraq where Isis target vulnerable girls as young as 12 to become sex slaves 

‘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.

A mother's nightmare: Hamshe's mother told the BBC that 'the Yazidi community has been destroyed. This tragedy has done us enough damage for the rest of our lives.'

A mother’s nightmare: Hamshe’s mother told the BBC that ‘the Yazidi community has been destroyed. This tragedy has done us enough damage for the rest of our lives.’

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.

Chilling drive: This is the view towards the Dera Bwn refugee camp in Duhok, northern Iraq 

Chilling drive: This is the view towards the Dera Bwn refugee camp in Duhok, northern Iraq 

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.’

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, walk towards the Syrian border, on the outskirts of Sinjar mountain, near the Syrian border town of Elierbeh of Al-Hasakah Governorate August 11, 2014

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, walk towards the Syrian border, on the outskirts of Sinjar mountain, near the Syrian border town of Elierbeh of Al-Hasakah Governorate August 11, 2014

Forced conversions: Islamic State releases a video purportedly of Iraq's minority Yazidis taking part in a conversion ritual at an unknown location

Forced conversions: Islamic State releases a video purportedly of Iraq’s minority Yazidis taking part in a conversion ritual at an unknown location

 

 

 

Authorities Break up International Pedophile Ring That Streamed Live Child Abuse

Global operation sees 29 arrested across 14 countries

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Police in the UK, US, and Australia have dismantled an international ring of pedophiles accused of streaming live video of child abuse from the Philippines.

LONDON – Child abuse investigators in the United States, Britain and Australia have dismantled an organized crime group that live-streamed child sexual abuse to order from the Philippines.

Britain’s National Crime Agency said an international investigation broke up the ring, resulting in 29 arrests people in 12 countries who had paid to watch the abuse.

Police describe the use of webcams to stream live child abuse — especially from developing countries — as a “significant and emerging threat.”

“This investigation has identified some extremely dangerous child sexual offenders who believed paying for children to be abused to order was something they could get away with,” said Andy Baker, the deputy director of the agency’s command for child protection. “Being thousands of miles away makes no difference to their guilt. In my mind they are just as responsible for the abuse of these children as the contact abusers overseas.”

The investigation began after a routine visit to Timothy Ford, a registered sex offender in Britain. Police found a number of indecent videos on his computer and contacted child abuse investigators, touching off a global investigation beginning in 2012.

UK authorities worked with the Australian Federal Police and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers as well as the International Justice Mission, a non-governmental group. Together the agencies presented their data to authorities in the Philippines to identify offenders and victims.

The investigation — codenamed Operation Endeavour — identified 733 suspects and has resulted in some convictions, including Ford, who was sentenced in March to 8 ½ years in prison. The agency said Ford paid to watch the live abuse and had planned to move to the Philippines to set up an internet cafe.
Ford and another man, Thomas Owen, had discussed traveling to the Philippines together. Ford, who uses a wheelchair, “suggested that Owen could act as his carer so they could travel to the Philippines together in an attempt to avoid detection,” police said.

Owen, who was found with nearly 4 million indecent images of children, was sentenced in July to seven years in prison.

Authorities in the Philippines issued three search warrants in 2012, and 15 children aged between 6 and 15 were rescued and placed in the custody of social welfare services.

Stephanie McCourt, of the UK’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center, which is now part of the NCA, told the BBC that pedophiles should know that the Internet is not a “safe place for them.”

“They must also not be under the mistaken impression that this is a crime which carries no guilt because it happens on the other side of the world,” she said. “It is just as bad, just as harmful as though it was happening to the children right here in the U.K.”

The arrests underscored the well-established problem of cybercrime rings victimizing children in impoverished communities.

Community support to eradicate the problem is crucial because the crime often is concealed in the privacy of homes away from the attention of authorities, said Mayor Michael Rama of Cebu city in the central Philippines, a region where some of the abuses have been reported.

“When you have some poverty, the availability of information and technology and the attraction for easy money, these abuses happen,” Rama told The Associated Press by telephone. “City hall can fight this but if the villages don’t get involved, what’s going to happen?”

Philippine police Senior Superintendent Gilbert Sosa, who heads an anti-cybercrime unit, said incidents of abuse have been monitored in Cebu, Manila and Angeles city north of the capital.

Impoverished parents allow their children to be sexually abused and watched by paying foreigners via the internet in exchange for $100 to $200, Sosa said.

“We’re continuing with our operations,” Sosa said. “We’ve not eradicated this.”