inside mosul isis What’s life like under Islamic State

Secretly-filmed videos obtained by the BBC’s Ghadi Sary show mosques being blown up, abandoned schools, and women being forced to cover up their bodies.

Residents said they were living in fear of punishment according to the group’s extreme interpretation of Islamic law.

They also described IS preparations for an expected government offensive.

The fall of Mosul marked the start of a lighting advance across the north that saw the army routed and hundreds of thousands of people forced to flee their homes.

1. Control of women inside mosul isis

The videos, filmed over several months last year, reveal the reality of life under IS. The first series shows how women are forced to cover up, with one woman challenged for not having her hands fully covered.

Hanaa: “IS is very strict about the dress code for women. Women have to be fully covered up in black, head to toe.

“One day I felt so bored at home that I asked my husband to take me out, even if I had to wear the full khimar [a long, cape-like veil that covers the hair, neck and shoulders completely, but leaves the face clear]. I had not left home since IS took over the city. As I was preparing, he asked me to put on a niqab [veil for the face]. I was shocked at his request and considered staying at home for a moment, but eventually I relented.

“We went to a nice restaurant by the river we used to frequent during our engagement. As soon as we sat down, my husband told me that I could finally reveal my face as there was no IS presence and the restaurant was a place for families.

inside mosul isis

inside mosul isis

“I was very happy to oblige and so I revealed my face with a large smile. Instantly, the restaurant’s owner came over begging my husband to ask me to hide it again because Islamic State fighters made surprise inspection visits and he would be flogged if they saw me like that.

“We had heard stories of men being flogged because their wives didn’t put their gloves on. Another woman’s parents were banned from driving their car. Those who objected would be beaten and humiliated.

“We complied with the owner’s request. I started wondering about how ignorant and merciless the state of affairs had become. As we left the restaurant, I saw a father searching for his daughter, who was concealed in a sea of blackness.”

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