A United Nations official has confirmed the authenticity of a document listing the prices the Islamic State group has set for the purchase of sex slaves, with children under the age of 10 being sold at the highest price to jihadist fighters and wealthy Middle Eastern men.
An Arabic language document that reads like a perverse menu for the purchase of captive Christian and Yazidis has been circulating online for nearly a year, but was confirmed as authentic this week by a top U.N. official.
Girls between the age of 1 and 9 are priced at around $170. As the women age, their "value" decreases. Women between 40 and 50 years old can be purchased for little more than $40, according to the document.
An English translation was posted online by a human rights activist:
— Dr Widad Akrawi (@DrWidadAkrawi) August 5, 2015
Zainab Bangura, the U.N.'s special representative of the secretary-general for sexual violence in conflict, said she verified on a recent trip to Iraq that the document is an authentic price list created by the Islamic State.
“The girls get peddled like barrels of petrol,” Bangura told Bloomberg. “One girl can be sold and bought by five or six different men. Sometimes these fighters sell the girls back to their families for thousands of dollars of ransom.”
Bangura told Bloomberg that militia leaders get first dibs on the slaves, then wealthy men from around the Middle East can bid thousands of dollars. The remaining women and girls are offered to jihadist fighters for the fixed prices in the document.
Last December, the Islamic State issued a pamphlet offering guidance on how to treat female slaves, including a provision allowing jihadist militants to rape even girls who have not yet reached puberty.
The pamphlet, “Questions and Answers on Taking Captives and Slaves,” purported to present the Shariah law position on issues such as when it’s permissible to have sexual intercourse, when it’s OK to beat them and if one can sell and “gift” slaves.