The suffer of the Yazidi women under ISIS slavery
The killings began before dawn the morning of August 3, 2014.
As the convoys of men closed in on Hala’s Iraqi village, fear coursed through the 13-year-old’s veins.
Her family piled into her father’s car and sped north, across an arid plain, through clouds of dust kicked up by an exodus of tires and pounding feet. At first, no one noticed the black flags rising up from the cars ahead: the symbol of ISIS militants who had spent the summer terrorising Iraq.
By the time Hala’s father realised his mistake and slammed on the breaks, masked men—more than a dozen of them, armed and dressed in black—emerged from their cars, and ordered Hala’s family to follow them to an abandoned house.
‘We were the first family there,’ Hala recalls. ‘But by night the house was full.’
The home was one of dozens of collection depots ISIS fighters were using in a genocide against members of Iraq’s minority Yazidi faith: Yazidi men, destined for execution, were sent into one room, while women and children destined for slavery, into another.
That night, the fighters bussed Hala, her mother and six siblings to the first of many makeshift human warehouses they’d be held in for the next few weeks, as ISIS systematised its slave trade.
They spent that time dizzy and sedated on drugs that Hala believes her captors mixed into everyone’s food to keep them compliant, while ISIS took stock of its human inventory: how many Yazidis they captured, how they should be distributed, how much money they should charge for each.