The Islamic State in Mosul: the slow genocide of Christian women and yazide
Duraid Hikmat Tobiya, advisor for minorities in the governorate of Nineveh, confirms the abuse and rapes of Christian women. Unlike mass abuse of Yazide there are "individual victims" and "individual cases". The UN's decision to declare the genocide. And confirmation of Christian families hostage to the militants.
Baghdad (AsiaNews) - The Islamic State has committed "violence and abuse of a sexual nature" even against "Christian women"; however, unlike what happened for the yazide, who were the object of mass rapes, these are "individual victims" and "individual cases”, according to Duraid Hikmat Tobiya a Catholic, former minorities adviser for the governorate of Nineveh and member of the Hammurabi Human Rights Organization. Speaking to AsiaNews he confirms cases that have emerged in the international headlines in recent weeks.
The Catholic leader, who has a network of informants in the territories under IS control, says this gives added value to the "recognition" by the United Nations of the "genocide" committed by jihadists against the Yazidi (and Christians) it certifies the violence and is "an element of strength" for minorities in their struggle.
In recent days an Christian Iraqi woman, who fled from Mosul, a stronghold of the Islamic State in Iraq, described the violence suffered under the jihadists provoking widespread outrage. By the evening of having been taken captive, she told US FoxNews, the woman is "married" and "divorced" at least nine times, to provide a religious justification to the torturers for her rape. "They took me as many times as they wanted," she said, on condition of anonymity for security reasons.
The woman, about 30, particularly remembers one of her tormentors, a certain Farouk, who "was obsessed with me," and used to say "I like the people of Jesus." Rapes and violence were preceded, she added, by ceremonies that were held via telephone and during which the radical religious leaders gave militiamen on duty permission to abuse her.
The Islamic State militia also have a system of tariffs, specifying the cost of "slaves" on the basis of age, ethnicity or faith they belong. The maximum price is for children between one and nine years. Women and children are called "merchandise" or "spoils of war" and the jihadists are obliged to comply with the tariff, those who violate are "executed".
With the rise of Daesh [Arabic acronym for the Islamic State] in Mosul and Nineveh Plain "Christians and Yazidis have been victims of enormous suffering," says Duraid Hikmat Tobiya. The Catholic leaders is originally from Mosul and his house (pictured) was among the first to be marked with the N of the Nazarene [the jihadists term for Christians in their territories].
Both communities, adds the minorities counselor for the governorate of Nineveh, have been subject to "forced evictions, driven from their homes of their" lands and orphans. Most managed to escape, but "even today there are 3500 yazide women under the Daesh control. In addition there are "some Christian families in Mosul, for a total of about 50 people" still "in the hands of the Islamic State."
The latter "were not able to escape" two years ago because many of these people "are disabled, ill" and found no chance to flee. They are still living "under Daesh paying the tax imposed on Muslims or those who converted [under pressures] to Islam", refers Duraid Hikmat Tobiya that "there are 150 other Christians, including children and families, kidnapped and still in the hands of the jihadists ".
The Catholic leader believes the solution is the creation of special areas for minorities, such as Sinjar for the Yazidi and the plain of Nineveh, for Christians, under the protection of an international coalition.
However, the situation for Christians returning to their lands "remains difficult", he adds, because even in case of complete liberation "there would still be sleeper cells " ready to strike. And the work of cleaning up after such damage "will last very long." "Daesh - he concludes - committed all sorts of crimes and has put the country back years".