Sex-Slavery: One Aspect of the Yezidi Genocide

In: Iran and the Caucasus

Even though almost three years have passed since the black banners of the terror organisation, calling themselves the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” (ISIS) were first hoisted throughout the Yezidi heartland of Sinjar, the Yezidi community continues to be targeted by ISIS, militias. 300,000 vegetate in camps as Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Iraqi Kurdistan; thousands of others have been killed, are missing, or remain in captivity where they are subjected to unspeakable sexual and physical abuse. With deference for these victims of violence, and without detracting from the collective suffering and trauma of the entire Yezidi community of Sinjar (families, women, men, and children alike), the authors have chosen to focus the present article on the plight and misery of the females; who were, and still are, facing despicable sexual abuses, unfathomable atrocities, and unfettered human rights violations. In doing so, they highlight the views of the fundamentalist Islam practiced by ISIS that encourages sex-slavery, while elaborating on the complacent acceptance of ISIS terror tactics by the local Sunni population of the territories they control. The work goes on to describe how survivors escaped, as well as how they are received and treated by the Yezidi community and state authorities. This discussion includes an overview of the national and international mechanisms available for prosecuting ISIS members for their crimes of genocide against the Yezidi people. The authors further stress that the genocide has contributed to, and even accelerated the process of the Yezidi selfidentification as a unique ethno-religious entity; which, in turn, has produced changes to their religious traditions. These changes will be briefly covered by examining a new approach to the institution of the Kerāfat.

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