Portuguese / Spanish / English

'Daesh allowed me to rape 200 women in Iraq'

Daesh militant Amar Hussein, 21, claims to have raped more than 200 women [Reuters]
Daesh militant Amar Hussein, 21, claims to have raped more than 200 women [Reuters]

Daesh militant Amar Hussein says he has raped more than 200 women from Iraqi minorities, and shows few regrets.

Kurdish intelligence authorities gave Reuters rare access to Hussein and another Daesh militant who were both captured during an assault on the city of Kirkuk in October that killed 99 civilians and members of the security forces. Sixty-three Daesh militants died.

Hussein said his emirs, or local Daesh commanders, gave him and others a green light to rape as many Yazidi and other women as they wanted.

"Young men need this," Hussein told Reuters in an interview after a Kurdish counter-terrorism agent removed a black hood from his head. "This is normal."

Hussein said he moved from house to house in several Iraqi cities raping women from the Yazidi sect and other minorities at a time when Daesh was grabbing more and more territory from Iraqi security forces.

Kurdish security officials say they have evidence of Hussein raping and killing but they don't know what the scale is.

Reuters could not independently verify Hussein's account.

Witnesses and Iraqi officials say Daesh fighters raped many Yazidi women after the group rampaged through northern Iraq in 2014. It also abducted many Yazidi women as sex slaves and killed some of their male relatives, they said.

Human rights groups have chronicled widespread abuses by Daesh against the Yazidis.

Hussein said he also killed about 500 people since joining Daesh in 2013.

"We shot whoever we needed to shoot and beheaded whoever we needed to beheaded," said Hussein.

He recalled how emirs trained him to kill, which was difficult at first when one person was brought for a practice kill. It became easier day by day.

"Seven, eight, ten at a time. Thirty or 40 people. We would take them in desert and kill them," said Hussein, an imposing, well-built figure, who was wearing metal handcuffs.

Eventually, he became highly efficient, never hesitating to kill.

"I would sit them down, put a blindfold on them and fire a bullet into their heads," he said. "It was normal."

TROUBLE

Counter-terrorism agents said Hussein was trouble when he first arrived. "He was so strong he snapped the plastic handcuffs off his wrists," said one.

Hussein sees himself as a victim of hardship, a product of a broken home and poverty in his hometown of Mosul, where Iraqi forces have launched an offensive against Daesh to dislodge them from their last stronghold in Iraq.

"I had no money. No one to say 'This is wrong, this is right.' No jobs. I had friends but no one to give me advice," said Hussein, who has been held in the cell with a barred window since his capture in October.

Religious slogans are scratched on its cement walls by previous jihadist prisoners. His only possessions are a thick blanket and a Quran. On the floor is a polystyrene plate with broth and some rice.

Thick, metal handcuffs hang on a nearby wall.

Twenty-one-year-old Hussein joined extremist groups at the age of 14.

Counter-terrorism agents described a second prisoner, Ghaffar Abdel Rahman, as less forthcoming, and said he had revealed little during questioning about his experiences as a checkpoint and logistics man for Daesh.

Abdel Rahman, 31, with long hair and beard and a blank stare, gave little away in a separate interview with Reuters.

He admitted to opening fire on security forces in the raid on Kirkuk but says he never killed anyone. He said he and his brother joined Daesh because otherwise, as state employees, they would have been killed by the group.

His Kurdish captors did not comment on his story, but Iraqi authorities are generally sceptical of fighters who say they had no choice.

Categories
IraqMiddle EastNewsSyria
Show Comments
The JNF/KKL A Charity Complicit With Ethnic Cleansing book launch
Show Comments