ISIS Harvesting and Trafficking Body Parts: Reports

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Evidence presented by Iraq’s ambassador to the UN, Mohamed Alhakim, that the Islamic State is harvesting human organs and trafficking in body parts was presented to the UN Security Council. Alhakim also asked the Security Council to investigate the death of 12 doctors who he said were killed by the brutal Islamist group after they refused to take part in removing organs from bodies.

The ambassador recounted how bodies with surgical incisions, missing kidneys and other body parts were recently found buried in shallow mass graves.

"We have bodies. Come and examine them. It is clear they are missing certain parts," Alhakim said, saying that incisions were found in the back, where the kidneys are located.

A report in Al Monitor by otolaryngologist Siruwan al-Mosuli also corroborated Alhakim’s allegations. Al-Mosuli said he had observed unusual activity within medical facilities in Mosul, where foreign doctors had been hired but not allowed to have contact with the local doctors. Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, is under the control of the Islamic State.

It is believed that these foreign doctors are harvesting the organs from those killed, injured, arrested and even kidnapped, and sold for tremendous profit to fund the terror group.

Adding to its long list of brutality, the local police chief in the western Iraqi city of Al-Baghdadi says that the Islamic State burned 45 people to death in its conquest of the city. Although information is not clear as to the identities of the people, Colonel Qasim al-Obeidi says he believes that some of those burned were security personnel.

After laying siege on the town for months, Islamic State forces captured most of the town late last week. Al-Baghdadi was one of the few towns in the Anbar province that had remained in Iraqi hands. It is located only five miles away from the Ain al-Asad air base, where close to 320 U.S. Marines are training members of the Iraqi army's 7th Division.

The base was attacked the day after Islamic State forces overran most of the city, but Iraqi troops were able to repel the militant fighters. The troops were backed up by U.S.-coalition air strikes.

Meanwhile, new directives for women have been issued in areas under the Islamic State's control in Iraq and Syria. Women are now required to wear a double-layered veil, as well as gloves and loose abayas (full-length cloaks) so that no part of their bodies are showing. In addition, all clothing for women in public must be black.

Girls as young as those in the fourth grade are required to dress according to these directives, even in school, which takes place in gender-segregated environments. Neither the students nor their teachers are allowed to remove their veils or other garments in the classroom. Younger girls are required to wear only a hijab.

In addition, as is the law in Saudi Arabia, women must now be accompanied by a male guardian. Only under exceptional circumstances are women allowed to leave their houses, making attending higher education or working nearly impossible.

Religious police roam the streets, punishing both the women as well as their male guardians for any violations of these directives. Punishments range from fines and humiliation to beatings.

“They forced women of all ages to wear a veil, even though the majority of the women in Mosul wear a hijab,” said pediatrician Maha Saleh, 36, speaking to The Guardian by phone. “The Hisbah [religious police] would hit a woman on her head with a stick if she was not wearing a veil.

“At the beginning, some female doctors refused to wear veils and went on a strike by staying at home. Hisbah took ambulances and went to their houses and brought them by force to the hospital. One of my colleagues was alone in her clinic in the hospital and thought it was all right to strip off her veil. All of a sudden, two Hisbah broke in her room and reproached her for not wearing the veil and warned her not to do that again.”

Saleh said that even women in labor are forced to comply with the Islamic State’s dress codes. “When I was in labor, I went to the hospital wearing a veil though it was too hot. ISIS Hisbah were at the front door of the hospital. I saw some women in labor who seemed to be in a panic and did not have time to wear a veil. I was shocked to see that they were denied access to the hospital unless they put veils on their faces,” she said.

Many women and young girls have been forced into marrying Islamic State fighters. Recent reports by the Syrian activist group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently say these women continually endure “brutal, abnormal sex acts.”

Speaking to The Independent, Abu Mohammed Hussam, an activist from the group who is living outside Raqqa, said, “Some women say that foreign fighters are the worst, like monsters. Some of them say they're asking for strange things. They are also looking to marry young girls.”

Hussam reported that women as old as 50 and girls as young as 9 years old are being sent to special “education centers” where they are taught the Quran and instructed on how to be "good" wives.

In other areas under the control of the Islamic State in the Anbar Province in eastern Iraq, as well as in Syria in the Damascus region, the group has taken to cutting off the electricity and water to subdue and punish the local populations.

Meanwhile, Kurdish Peshmerga forces, who were threatened with defeat southwest of Irbil, have managed to repel an Islamic State advance on the area with help from coalition air strikes. Kurdish commanders report that about 40 Islamic State fighters were killed in the assault on Kurdish defensive positions.

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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