Amnesty International said the sexual abuses committed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) against abducted women, including from Iraq’s Yazidi minority, are driving these women to end their lives.
Large swathes of territory in Iraq and northern Syria have been overrun by ISIS organization, where its terrorists perpetrated a litany of abuses, including killing, decapitation and gang-rape, targeting minority groups in particular.
Crucifixion also figured prominently among the abhorrent crimes committed by ISIS members, reports of which were coming out recently, including in the Syrian northeastern province of Deir Ezzor with photos from the scenes going viral on the internet.
A statement by Amnesty released on Tuesday said Yazidi women and girls forced into sexual slavery by ISIS have committed suicide or tried to.
“Many of those held as sexual slaves are children – girls aged 14, 15 or even younger,” Donatella Rovera, Amnesty’s senior crisis response adviser, said in the statement.
The statement referred to a 19-year-old girl named Jilan who committed suicide “out of fear she would be raped,” quoting her brother as saying.
Amnesty also cited an incident where another captive girl said she and her sister attempted to kill themselves “to escape forced marriage.”
Rovera described the physical and psychological impact of the sexual violence inflicted upon these women as “catastrophic”.
“Many of them have been tortured and treated as chattel. Even those who have managed to escape remain deeply traumatized,” she added.
According to the statement, many of the abuses’ perpetrators are ISIS members, in addition to many others who are supporters of the terrorist organization.
In an earlier report published last September, Amnesty said ISIS has launched a systematic ethnic cleansing campaign in northern Iraq where mass executions have been carried out.
The report affirmed that thousands of Yazidi women and children were abducted by ISIS, with the girls being taken as sex slaves, in the course of what the UN described as “genocide” that took place when the terrorist organization overran Mount Sinjar in Iraq.