ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Documents allegedly recovered from the Islamic State (IS) in Syria reveals the systematic and institutionalized mass enslavement of Yezidi (Ezidi) women.
Over 5,000 documents were reportedly obtained by Al-Aan TV in Syria’s town of Tabqa, in Raqqa Province, which was liberated by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in 2017. The recovered papers indicate that the enslavement of Ezidi women was encouraged by the militant organization.
Monthly benefits were awarded to IS militants based on the number of slaves they held, up to 50 USD per woman and 35 USD for children in captivity. Multiple documents, including health certificates, would mention the number of female slaves extremists owned for administrative purposes.
The financial incentives were also accompanied by “moral justifications” for owning slaves. The documents are seen as proof that will make it easier for countries to prosecute IS militants.
“I have led a year-long advocacy campaign on behalf of my [Ezidi] clients for the establishment of a UN Investigation Team in Iraq,” said Amal Clooney, who has been famously tasked with prosecuting the jihadist organization at the International Criminal Court for crimes committed against Ezidis.
“The UN Security Council finally heeded this call in September 2017 when it unanimously adopted a resolution to establish an investigation, but the team is not yet on the ground,” she added.
Clooney stressed the importance of collecting evidence before it is destroyed or disappears to demonstrate “before fair and independent courts that individual [IS] members have committed the most harrowing atrocities known to humankind – including genocide.”
“Only then can all survivors, including [Ezidis], finally have their day in court, and finally start turning the page.”
Ezidi member of the Iraqi Parliament, Vian Dakhil, also commented on the files unearthed in Tabqa, asserting this was proof the enslavement of Ezidi women was intentional and widespread.
Following their emergence in 2014, IS invaded the Ezidi-populated town of Sinjar (Shingal) and committed one of the most egregious massacres in recent history, murdering and kidnapping thousands from the ethnoreligious minority’s community. Hundreds of thousands of Ezidis were forced to escape the area and seek safety in the Kurdistan Region.
According to United Nations estimates, there are about 3,000 Ezidis who remain unaccounted for since the genocide.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany