The province of Sinjar was attacked and captured by ISIS militants in 2014, which caused tremendous suffering among its predominantly Yazidi population. Shireen was one of the hundreds of Yazidi women who were kidnapped during the ISIS invasion.
She recounts how she was taken by car to Badush prison, near Mosul, and the women and girls were selected by ISIS militants according to their age and social status. Shireen herself was left to starve and was beaten in the prison. She was later sold to a man who treated her harshly. Once she began to look sick she was offered to be sold to another man who gave her a similar harsh treatment.
In a new episode of more severe suffering, she was taken to Syria and underwent extreme torture as she was exposed to electric shocks to make her submit to the wishes of an ISIS militant.
There are several Yazidi women with similar stories of psychological and physical trauma. Yazidi women, girls and children have been kidnapped en masse by ISIS militants. The women and girls have suffered intolerable physical and psychological pain as many of them were taken captive as sex slaves.
Yazidi children have also bore the brunt of the suffering as a result of the ISIS attack. Many of the children that were kidnapped were sold into slavery and became culturally assimilated into the new families that they joined. This has caused distress among certain Yazidi families who now have their children back due to the fact that they children have lost their mother tongue in many cases. In addition, several Yazidi children were forced to join the “Cubs of the Caliphate”, ISIS’ division of child soldiers.
The UN has designated ISIS’ actions against the Yazidis in Iraq as acts of genocide in an attempt to wipe out the ethno-religious group either by massacring or forcing assimilation upon its people.