Zainab_Bangura

She didn’t hear about the rape on Game of Thrones.

Via Times of Israel

A UN envoy has returned from a tour of Iraq and Syria with harrowing reports of the sexual violence systematically committed by Islamic State militants against women and girls.

Zainab Bangura, who had set out for the region in April to address the rampant cases of rape, sex slavery and other sexual violence in the areas under IS control, said the extremists were “institutionalizing sexual violence” as a tactic to terrorize the local populations.

In an interview this week with the Middle East Eye, a UK-based news site, Bangura recounted chilling tales she had heard from refugees.

“After attacking a village, IS splits women from men and executes boys and men aged 14 and over. The women and mothers are separated; girls are stripped naked, tested for virginity and examined for breast size and prettiness. The youngest, and those considered the prettiest virgins fetch higher prices and are sent to Raqqa, the IS stronghold,” she said.

“There is a hierarchy: sheikhs get first choice, then emirs, then fighters. They often take three or four girls each and keep them for a month or so, until they grow tired of a girl, when she goes back to market. At slave auctions, buyers haggle fiercely, driving down prices by disparaging girls as flat-chested or unattractive.

“We heard one case of a 20-year-old girl who was burned alive because she refused to perform an extreme sex act,” she said.

The plight of women and girls from Iraq’s Yazidi minority has raised alarm after hundreds captured by Islamic State fighters were sold in open markets as sex slaves last year.

Bangura explained that the atrocities were not being committed randomly by individual militants but were a key tactic used by the group “to advance key strategic priorities, such as recruitment, fundraising, to enforce discipline and order — through the punishment of dissenters or family members — and to advance their radical ideology.”

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HT: Doug Ross

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