ISIS holding more than 3,500 slaves in Iraq, mostly women & children – UN report
Islamic State is holding around 3,500 people as slaves in Iraq, according to a United Nations report released on Tuesday. Most of those being detained are women and children from Iraq's Yazidi community.
The report, issued jointly by the UN human rights office and the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, states that an estimated 3,500 people are “currently being held in slavery” by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).
“Those being held are predominantly women and children and come primarily from the Yazidi community, but a number are also from other ethnic and religious minority communities," the report says.
It goes on to state that the militant group, which also controls large swathes of territory in neighboring Syria, has committed widespread abuses that may “in some instances, amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide.”
The report details executions by shooting, beheading, bulldozing, burning alive, and throwing people off the top of buildings.
It also states that the UN has information about the murder of child soldiers, and has verified reports suggesting that between 800 and 900 children in Mosul were abducted for military and religious training.
Despite the figures detailed in the document, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein noted that they fail to represent all those who have suffered.
“Even the obscene casualty figures fail to accurately reflect exactly how terribly civilians are suffering in Iraq," he said in a statement.
“The figures capture those who were killed or maimed by overt violence, but countless others have died from the lack of access to basic food, water or medical care.”
He went on to describe the “horror” that Iraqi refugees are attempting to escape when they flee to Europe and other regions.
Many of those taken as slaves are from the ethnically-Kurdish Yazidi minority in Iraq, which continues to be targeted by the militant group. Earlier this month, RT’s Murad Gazdiev traveled to the Nowrooz camp in Syria to hear the stories of those who have fled.
According to the UN, IS jihadists have abducted thousands of women and girls as young as 12 years old, selling them as sex slaves or giving them to militants as rewards.