Iraq: ISIS executes at least 150 women for refusing to marry its militants

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An Iraqi refugee woman who fled her home due to the violence of armed groups led by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Mosul and Tal Afar, walks in the mud after the rain at Baharka refugee camp in Erbil, Iraq on December 14, 2014. Anadolu/ Hamit Hüseyin

Published Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) executed at least 150 women who refused to marry its militants in the western Iraqi province of al-Anbar, Iraq's Ministry of Human Rights said.

According to a ministry statement released Tuesday, ISIS militants carried out a number of attacks in Fallujah and buried the victims in mass graves in one of the city’s neighborhoods.

"At least 150 females, including pregnant women, were executed in Fallujah by a militant named Abu Anas al-Libi after they refused to accept jihad marriage," the statement said. "Many families were also forced to migrate from the province’s northern town of al-Wafa after hundreds of residents received death threats."

The ministry also said on Tuesday that 10 children died and were buried in the desert after ISIS forced away their families away from the city of Haditha in Anbar, keeping them stranded.

ISIS controls many areas in Anbar and is attempting to take over Ramadi, the province's capital city.

A UN refugee agency (UNHCR) report published mid November shows that about 13.6 million people, equivalent to the population of London, have been displaced by conflicts in Syria and Iraq, many without food or shelter as winter starts. The 13.6 million include 1.9 million displaced in Iraq and 190,000 who have left to seek safety.

International Organization for Migration (IOM) announced early December that Anbar has suffered the second largest displacement with more than 540,000 people, after northern Nineveh with more than 940,000.

The UN released a 29-page study early October, listing a litany of gross abuses and violations of international humanitarian law being perpetrated by ISIS and associated armed groups "with an apparent systematic and widespread character" in Iraq.

Women have been treated particularly harshly, the report said: "ISIS (has) attacked and killed female doctors, lawyers, among other professionals."

In the ISIS hub of Mosul in mid-October, militants executed three women including two doctors, Hanaa Edwar, a human rights activist who heads the al-Amal organization that is concerned mainly with displaced Iraqis.

On September 22, ISIS executed a women's rights activist, Samira Saleh al-Nuaimi, reportedly because she had condemned the demolition of heritage sites by ISIS on social media.

According to the UN report, ISIS took 450-500 women and girls in August to the Tal Afar citadel in Iraq's Nineveh region where "150 unmarried girls and women, predominantly from the Yazidi and Christian communities, were reportedly transported to Syria, either to be given to ISIS fighters as a reward or to be sold as sex slaves."

The fate of the girls remains unknown.

Large swathes of land in Iraq have become ISIS strongholds as the extremist group, which declared a "caliphate" in the territory it seized in Iraq and Syria, drove Iraq's army to collapse. A US-led air campaign against the group since August has failed to push back ISIS in either country.

(Anadolu, Al-Akhbar)

Comments

Why would the UN or anyone for that matter expects a criminal group to abide by some international law or human rights ? A criminal is to be punished and ISIS has come out to prominence for the failure on the part of getting it punished what with the fighting factions in Iraq and Syria to come to terms, the interference from neighboring countries, Iran backing of sectarian Shia corrupt officials and exclusionist government, Saudi efforts to undermine that by the Bandar Bin Sultan led campaign to arm the militants and secure fundings, the United States creation of a vaccuum by removing Baathists who were foes with militants and extremism and its adventurism in the region and the long overdue action that should be taken to rectify all of this. Who should come and correct course ? I don't know but until that happens ISIS will continue to commit atrocities with impunity and we'd continue to blame religion to justify our willful avoidance to take action to stop them.

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