The Islamic State burned 19 Yazidi women to death in iron cages before hundreds of spectators in Iraq last week, according to reports by activists and eyewitnesses. The women, whom ISIS militants had kidnapped and enslaved in the terrorist group’s notorious system of sex slavery, were sentenced to be burned alive after they refused to have sex with their jihadi captors.
“They were punished for refusing to have sex with ISIS militants,” local media activist Abdullah al-Malla, who witnessed the event, told ARA News.
The victims were placed in iron cages in central Mosul and burned alive, said witnesses. Hundreds of people were present at the horrific event.
“The 19 girls were burned to death, while hundreds of people were watching. Nobody could do anything to save them from the brutal punishment,” said an eyewitness in Mosul, Iraq.
Women from the religious Yazidi minority, thousands of whom have been taken hostage and forced into sex slavery by ISIS, are viewed as infidels and chattel by ISIS fighters.The radical Islamist group has even published price lists detailing the worth of individual slaves. Recently, one ISIS militant attempted to sell sex slaves on Facebook.
“The longer they are held by ISIS, the more horrific life becomes for Yazidi women, bought and sold, brutally raped, their children torn from them,” Skye Wheeler, a women’s rights emergencies researcher at the NGO Human Rights Watch, told ARA.
According to Kurdish officials, ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria hold about 1,800 abducted Yazidi women and girls. However, the United Nations has estimated that as many as 3,500 people are in ISIS captivity.