August 3 marked the fourth anniversary of the ISIS invasion of Sinjar, Iraq and the start of the Yazidi genocide. Since that date in 2014, approximately 3,100 Yazidis either have been executed or died of dehydration and starvation, according to the organization Yazda. At least 6,800 women and children were kidnapped by ISIS terrorists and subjected to sexual and physical abuse, captives were forced to convert to Islam, and young boys were separated from their families and forced to become child soldiers, according to a report entitled “Working Against the Clock: Documenting Mass Graves of Yazidis Killed by the Islamic State.” Moreover, 3,000 Yazidi women and girls are believed to remain in ISIS captivity, but their whereabouts are unknown.
One Yazidi child recently sold in Ankara, Turkey, and then freed through the mediation efforts of Yazidi and humanitarian-aid organizations, according to a report by Hale Gönültaş, a journalist with the Turkish news website Gazete Duvar. On July 30, three days after Gönültaş’s article appeared, she received a death threat on her mobile phone from a Turkish-speaking man, who told her that he knew her home address, and then shouted, “Jihad will come to this land. Watch your step!”
This is not the first time that Gönültaş has been threatened for writing about ISIS atrocities. In May 2017, she received similar telephone threats after posting two articles: “200,000 children in ISIS camps,” and “ISIS holds 600 children from Turkey.”
In addition, a video of Turkish-speaking children receiving military training from ISIS was sent to her email address. In the video, in which one of them is seen cutting off someone’s head with a knife, the children are saying, “We are here for jihad.”