Nussaibah Younis writes: One year on from the summit to end sexual violence in conflict, convened by Angelina Jolie and William Hague in London, the self-proclaimed Islamic State has developed a complex bureaucracy of sex slavery that makes a mockery of the summit’s goal to bring about an end to the use of rape and sexual violence in war.
The systematic use of sexual violence to terrorise, humiliate and subjugate communities during times of war has a dark history, with an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 women raped in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and 20,000 to 50,000 women raped during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
And Isis is not the only party in the Syrian civil war to use rape as a weapon – rape is endemic in detention centres run by the secular regime of Bashar al-Assad. But what makes Isis’s use of rape so horrifying is its attempt to justify, codify and institutionalise the practice using ostensibly religious justifications for this war crime. [Continue reading…]