Speaking at the annual Women in the World Summit in New York City last Friday, a Yazidi human rights Iraqi activist shared horrifying details about how a friend she grew up with and her unborn daughter were victimized by Islamic State militants when the terrorists took over her hometown in 2014.
Activist Feryal Pirali, who grew up in Sinjar, Iraq, and left in 2010, explained that one of her good friends stayed in Sinjar up until the point her family realized that their lives were in danger and decided to flee right before IS (also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh) militants besieged the town.
But considering that her friend was pregnant at the time, Pirali explained that her friend could not keep pace with her family members as they ran away from the jihadi death cult.
"When ISIS took over our town and they were trying to run away. Because she was heavy and pregnant and couldn't run a lot, she told her family to save themselves and run away and she was going to walk slowly until she gets to where they are," Pirali explained. "Unfortunately, she didn't make it."
"The ISIS people got her. What they did to her was they opened up her stomach," Pirali said as she motioned a straight line across her stomach with her hand. "They opened her up and got her baby girl out. They raped the baby and they also raped her."
Although Pirali's friend survived the ordeal, her baby did not.
"The baby did not make it," she said. "They thought she was dead so they left her. Her family came back and saw her just like that in that situation."
Pirali, who is now living in Nebraska, said that it was after hearing her friend's story that she decided to advocate for her friends and hometown community.
She launched a Change.org petition that was signed by nearly 50,000 people, calling on former United States President Barack Obama to help save the over 3,200 women and children enslaved by IS.
Also participating in the discussion at the summit was Shireen Ibrahim, an escaped survivor of IS enslavement who came from Mount Sinjar. Ibrahim's remarks were translated by Pirali.
Ibrahim recalled the day IS took over her town and how she, like many other Yazidi women, was separated from her family.
"They separated her from family and that's when she told them that she was married to her cousin and her little nephew is her child so that they would not rape her," Pirali explained. "She spent three months not eating, not taking a shower, not drinking anything just so they don't get close to her."
Ibrahim was later transferred to IS territory in Syria.
"That's when they wrapped her with a blanket and they were shooting guns around her and telling her that they were going to kill [her]," Pirali said. "They were giving her some medicine, like oil, they were but she doesn't know for what reason."
The militants said they did not believe Ibrahim when she told them that she was married to her cousin and that her nephew was her child. Ibrahim hasn't seen her cousin since.
Ibrahim explained that she was bought and sold five different times by IS fighters for just $1. Unlike many other Yazidi sex slaves, Ibrahim managed to avoid being raped.
At one point, Ibrahim tried to escape from IS. However, she was caught and punished.
"They brought me back and they electrocuted me with electricity," Ibrahim said. "That's when they gave me the medicine too. They did everything to me. Every bad thing you can think of because I ran away."
Now that Ibrahim has escaped from IS and reunited with some family members at a displacement camp in northern Iraq, she said that she only knows the whereabouts of about 20 of her 40 family members.
Ibrahim asserted that she doesn't want to return to her hometown.
"She doesn't want to relive everything," Pirali explained.