Former ISIS sex slaves sheltered in Canada threatened with phone calls, texts
WARNING: This story contains graphic content that may be disturbing to some readers.
Former ISIS sex slaves, who were given sanctuary in Canada, are again living in fear after being bombarded by voicemails and texts threatening rape and murder.
Five women and one 14-year-old girl have filed reports with York Regional Police. The victims are all Yazidis who survived an ISIS-led genocide in Iraq in 2014.
They have handed over to police recordings of the phone calls and screen grabs of the texts, which reference the Islamic State and include pictures of beheadings and armed Jihadis.
W5 has listened to the phone calls. In one, a man laughs as he says in Arabic: “I am the man who f****d you. I am your rapist.” A second caller denounces Yazidis as devil worshippers. And a third caller makes a graphic reference to rape.
The callers appear to have Iraqi, North African and Gulf state accents. York Regional Police have assembled a team to try to track where the calls are originating.
“Our investigators are going to work through phone records, information obtained by victims and any background as to why this may be occurring,” said Const. Andy Pattenden. W5 sources say the York Regional Police intelligence unit and CSIS are also aware of the threats, which began two weeks ago.
One of the phone calls came from a 1-800 number and another from an Alberta telephone exchange. Police say with “spoofing” apps, the calls could have been placed from anywhere in the world.
Gathering at a home in Richmond Hill, Ont., the women who survived so much trauma back in their homeland are once again in the grips of terror. Adiba, who was bought and sold six different times by ISIS fighters in 2014, says: “We came here for safety, but after these threats I don’t feel safe. We want to live without threats and fear.” Another, Milkeya, says : “I am scared. My son is four years old, he is scared.” Fearful that ISIS will come back and get them.
“They are survivors of genocide. They are survivors of sex slavery and they came here to Canada starting a new life to be safe and sound and now this nightmare seems like it is repeating itself,” said Rev Majed el-Shafie, founder of One Free World International, a human rights organization that advocates for religious minorities.
The Toronto charity has been supporting members of the Yazidi community who resettled in Canada after the genocide.