CSP, by Olivia McCoy, April 10, 2015:
After being held since July 2014, Islamic state released 216 Yazidi captives back to their families on April 8, 2015. The majority of those released were elderly men and women, but also included some middle aged women and 55 young boys and girls. During the July attack on a Yazidi village, the Islamic Slate murdered more than 500 hundred of Yazidi men and took the women and children hostage.
While it was initially unclear as to why the captives were released, Tom Robinson of the Rise Foundation reported that they were only released after they paid a ransom. He states that a lot of money has been going into buying back the Yazidi hostages. The Islamic State was willing to sell back the elderly because they were not of much use to the fighters. The women and children that were held captive have been sold and given as sex slaves to the jihadist fighters. Aid workers also believe that the reason why some young girls may have been released as well was because the Islamic State wanted to shame them as they returned to their families.
Many of those released suffered clear emotional and physical trauma. The girls reported that they had been raped and tortured while held hostage. Some reports include girls being raped in public by multiple jihadists at the same time, being traded from man to man, and sold in modern-day slave auctions.
One of the freed captives is a nine year-old girl who was raped by at least 10 different men while under the control of the Islamic State. Upon her release aid workers soon realized that she was became pregnant as a result of one of the sexual attacks on her. Because of how poorly she was treated and the extensive abuse she suffered, charity workers say even with a caesarean section, it’s feared she may die during childbirth.
To make the already sickening matters worse, women who became pregnant as a result of being raped by jihadist fighters will face shame when returning to the community. If they had been married, they won’t be able to go back to their husbands, and due to poor healthcare provisions, attempted abortions may also put their lives at risk.
It is estimated that approximately 4,000 girls are still held hostage by the Islamic State, having to face excessive physical and mental abuse day after day, with little hope for escape or recovery.