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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Pssssst, wanna buy a duck?

Guest Post by Joby Warrick (Special to Perspective!)

Joby Warrick joined the Post’s national staff in 1996. He has covered national security, the environment, and the Middle East, and currently writes about terrorism.

The woman is young, perhaps 18, AN In the Facebook photo, she attempts to smile but doesn’t look at her photographer. The caption mentions a single biographical fact: She is for sale:
“To all the bros thinking about buying a slave, this one is $8,000,” begins the May 20 Facebook posting, which was attributed to an Islamic State fighter who calls himself Abu Assad Almani.

The photos were taken down within hours by Facebook, and it is unclear whether the account’s owner was doing the selling himself or commenting about women being sold by other fighters. But the unusual posting underscores what experts say is an increasingly perilous existence for the hundreds of women who are thought to be held as sex slaves by the Islamic State.

 Social-media sites used by ­Islamic State fighters in recent months have included numerous accounts of the buying and selling of sex slaves, as well the promulgation of formal rules for dealing with them. The guidelines cover such topics as whether it’s possible to have sex with prepubescent prisoners — yes, the Islamic State’s legal experts say — and how severely a slave can be beaten.

“We have seen a great deal of brutality, but the content that ISIS has been disseminating over the past two years has surpassed it all for sheer evil,” said Steven Stalinsky, the institute’s executive director, using the common acronym for the Islamic State. “Sales of slave girls on social media is just one more example of this.”

 The Facebook incident comes amid complaints from human rights groups about waning public interest in the plight of women held as prisoners by the Islamic State. The organization Human Rights Watch, citing estimates by Kurdish officials in Iraq and Syria, says the terrorist group holds about 1,800 women and girls, just from the capture of Yazidi towns in the region.

After initial denials, the Islamic State last year issued statements acknowledging the use of sex slaves and defending the practice as consistent with ancient Islamic traditions, provided that the women are non-Muslims captured in battle or members of Muslim sects that the terrorist group regards as apostates.
 https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/isis-fighters-appear-to-be-trying-to-sell-their-sex-slaves-on-the-internet/2016/05/28/b3d1edea-24fe-11e6-9e7f-57890b612299_story.html

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