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ISIS in Iraq execute 19 women for refusing to sexually engage with militants

A young Yazidi woman after her and her family were displaced
A young Yazidi woman after her and her family were displaced

The group known as Islamic State have reportedly executed 19 women in Iraq for refusing to engage sexually with its militants.

A Kurdish official told Iraqi news the women were put to death by the group in Mosul, which was overrun by the group last year. 

They were held hostage by Islamic State - or Daesh, as they are known in the region - in their stronghold in Iraq which they seized in June. The Kurdish official said they were executed  because they refused to "participate in the practice of sexual jihad."

The harrowing news of the executions come as a UN envoy investigating sexual violence by the group confirmed that an ISIS pamphlet that gives prices for the purchase of women is real.

Zainab Bangura told Bloomberg that “the girls get peddled like barrels of petrol”.

“One girl can be sold and bought by five or six different men. Sometimes these fighters sell the girls back to their families for thousands of dollars of ransom.”

Bangura added that young children, usually from the ages of one to nine, fetch around $165, while adolescents and women fetch lower prices as they get older.

The 'slaves', who are often captured Yazidis, are offered to Daesh leaders first, then put up for sale to foreign buyers (often wealthy men from other parts of the Middle East) for thousands of dollars, before being offered to fighters for these lower prices.

Last year, Isis released a pamphlet on the treatment of female slaves, which used justification from the Koran for a variety of appalling crimes, such as the rape and beating of female slaves.

Daesh captured hundreds of Yazidi women when they stormed their home region in northern Iraq last year. 

Many who have managed to escape are so disturbed by the ordeal they have endured they suffer from severe psychological trauma. 

Last month, three Yazidi women who escaped ISIS spoke of the horror they experienced at the hands of the terrorist group.

One woman, Bushra (21), said she was raped repeatedly by the man who bought her.

"He told me he was going to rape me that same day, however ill I made myself. He took me home, tied up my hands and feet, and raped me," she said in a video.

"He raped me about five times a day. My sister was barely 14 when they raped her.

"'I could hear her screaming but I couldn't do anything as I was tied up," she said.

Amnesty International previously said that ISIS have destroyed hundreds of Yazidi women's lives.