An Islamic State (IS) fatwa [text, US government translation] was released on Tuesday that provides rules for when “owners” of women enslaved by IS may have sex with those captured women. The ruling was issued by IS theologians and includes provisions which forbid having intercourse with a female captive when she is menstruating or pregnant or causing an abortion of a pregnant woman. It was issued, it states, in order to curb “violations in the matter of the treatment of the female slaves.” The fatwa was found [Reuters report] among other documents seized in Syria by United States Special Operations Forces in May. It is dated January 29, 2015.
The Islamic State (IS) [BBC backgrounder] has caused international alarm over its human rights abuses since its insurgence into Syria and Iraq in 2013. Earlier this month UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned [JURIST report] rights violations against children in Iraq by IS, reporting that children are being subjected to killing and maiming, recruitment as child soldiers, sexual violence and abduction. In October Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] reported [JURIST report] that IS militants carried out mass executions of Shiite inmates from a seized Iraqi hospital. In September, members of Iraq’s Yazidi community met with International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and urged [JURIST report] the court to open an investigation into genocide in Northern Iraq.