Members of the terror group ISIS are literally putting price tags on abducted women and girls to sell them as merchandise in a major Iraqi city, according to allegations cited in a new United Nations human rights report.
"UNAMI/OHCHR received a number of reports that an office for the sale of abducted women was opened in the al-Quds area of Mosul city," says the report by the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Mosul is Iraq's second-largest city, much of which is controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
"Women and girls are brought with price tags for the buyers to choose and negotiate the sale. The buyers were said to be mostly youth from the local communities. Apparently ISIL [ISIS] was 'selling' these Yezidi women to the youth as a means of inducing them to join their ranks," the report says.
The Yezidis, or Yazidis, are a religious minority in Iraq who have been targeted along with Christians and Shias by ISIS, a Sunni extremist group.
"Some women managed to inform UNAMI/OHCHR that they had been forced to convert [to Islam] and were to be married to ISIL [ISIS] fighters and would be taken to destinations unknown," says the report, which covers alleged human rights abuses in Iraq from July to September and was released Thursday.
The section on the persecution of Yazidi women was just one part of the 26-page report, which found overall that "gross human rights abuses and acts of violence of an increasingly sectarian nature, committed by armed groups, have exacerbated the effect on civilians and contributed to the deterioration in the human rights situation and the rule of law in many parts of the country."
"These include attacks [by ISIS and associated groups] directly targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, executions and other targeted killings of civilians, abductions, rape and other forms of sexual and physical violence against women and children, forced recruitment of children, destruction or desecration of places of religious or cultural significance, wanton destruction and looting of property, and denial of fundamental freedoms," the report says.
UNAMI reported Wednesday more than 9,000 civilians are estimated to have been killed in Iraq this year alone.
The new report did not cover Syria, where heavy fighting between a number of armed groups including ISIS has been taking its own toll on a devastated civilian population for more than two years.