Watch: On “Slave Market Day,” ISIS Trades Women for Cash, Weapons

July 14, 2015
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by Patrice Taddonio Digital Writer & Audience Development Strategist

It’s a chilling sight: A group of ISIS fighters laughing as they discuss buying and selling women as slaves.

“I will buy from whoever wants to sell his sex slave,” says one man in the video footage.

“The price depends … if she has blue eyes, it will be different. I’ll trade her for a Glock. I’ll pay $500,” says another.

“What if she has no teeth? Get her some dentures!” another man laughs.

The video of what one man calls “slave market day” is included in a series of Facebook-first mini-documentaries released ahead of the new FRONTLINE film, Escaping ISIS.

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The footage offers a stunning window into the plight of women and children who are Yazidis — a religious minority that have been targeted by ISIS for particularly brutal treatment.

“ISIS believes Yazidi women can be enslaved, under their interpretation of Islam,” says FRONTLINE’s Edward Watts, who spent two months in Iraq and Turkey filming the documentary and finding undercover footage. “We’ve spoken with some of the first Yazidi women to escape from ISIS, and uncovered accounts that ISIS fighters are raping Yazidi girls as young as nine.”

Against all odds, some women who have been held as slaves are escaping — like 18-year old Salwa, who was rescued from her ISIS captors after 237 days.

“I was scared that so much time would pass and I would be forgotten,” Salwa tells FRONTLINE.

For an in-depth look at ISIS’s treatment of Yazidi women – and how a secret network is helping women like Salwa escape their captors — watch FRONTLINE’s Escaping ISIS tonight on PBS starting at 10 p.m. EST (check local listings) or online at pbs.org/frontline.

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