Sep 06, 2016

Iraqi Turkmen: Over 600 Women and Children Still in ISIS Captivity

According to Iraqi officials, more than 600 women and children from Iraq’s Turkmen community are still held captive by the so-called Islamic State (IS). According to experts such as Masrour Aswad, member of the High Commission of Human Rights in Iraq, and Hassan Toran, Deputy Head of the Turkmen Front, the current status of these hostages is largely unknown and too little efforts are made to come to the rescue of these ‘forgotten hostages’. 

The article below is published by AhlulBaht News Agency

More than 600 Shia Turkmen women and children remain under the control of the so-called Islamic State (IS), an Iraqi official said on Friday [2 September 2016]. Masrour Aswad, a member of the High Commission of Human Rights in Iraq, said that international organizations are not paying enough attention to free these hostages.

“We have acquired information that [IS] has jailed some of them in a military base in Mosul, but the federal government of Iraq and organizations are silent,” Aswad said. The women in captivity are often used as sex slaves and the children trained for suicide attacks.

He mentioned that they had met with some of the women rescued from IS, and they revealed some sensitive information about the whereabouts of many prisoned women in IS-controlled territories.

“They have revealed information about the hostages and asked us to conceal their names and profile,” Aswad added. Additionally, he stated only 11 of the Shiite Turkmen hostages had been rescued from the takfiri group so far.

Hassan Toran, the Deputy Head of Turkmen Front and a member of the parliament of Iraq, criticized international organizations for not making enough efforts to rescue the hostages. “Before, we had information about those hostages, and we knew that they were alive,” Toran reported.

“But now all our connections are lost, and nobody knows what happened to them,” the Deputy Head continued. He believes that the government of Iraq must find a solution regarding the hostages especially after they are rescued.

In June 2014, IS took control of Mosul and large swaths of territories in the north of Iraq. The group enslaved thousands of Kurdish Yazidi women and sold them as sex slaves in markets under their control.

Photo Courtesy of AhlulBaht News Agency