Kidnapped Christian Women Likely Still Held by Islamic State

July 24, 2018

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Islamic State may still be holding as many as 38 Iraqi Christian women captive.

Only seven out of 45 women kidnapped by Islamic State (IS) from the Iraqi town of Qaraqosh in August 2014 have returned to their families.

Rita, one of those kidnapped, was held by IS for three years. She was initially held in Mosul and then transferred to Syria after being repeatedly sold in IS sex-slave markets. “I was bought and sold four times. They did evil things to us. They beat us and raped us,” she recalled. Rita was also forced to clean IS fighters’ houses. “The worst of all was girls aged nine who were raped. Girls would be sold for 4,000 to 15,000 dollars.”

Islamic State targeted vulnerable Christian women. Pictured is a woman at a Christian refugee camp in Erbil, northern Iraq

Christian and Yazidi women and girls are known to have been openly sold as slaves by IS. In 2014, Barnabas Fund saw a document published by IS which listed prices for Christian and Yazidi slaves, which varied according to age. Women aged 40 to 50 years were listed at a cost of 50,000 dinars (£27; €34; $43) each, 30 to 40-year-olds for 75,000 dinars (£40; €51; $64) and 20 to 30-year-olds for 100,000 dinars (£54; €68; $84) each. A girl aged 10-20 years was listed at 150,000 dinars (£80; €102; $128), and a male or female child aged one to nine years at 200,000 dinars (£107; €136; $170).

Rita was finally reunited with her father in 2018. The other members of her family were murdered when IS overran Qaraqosh.

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