IS 'punishes woman for showing face in ID photograph'

IS 'punishes woman for showing face in ID photograph'
Campaign group tells al-Araby al-Jadeed that Raqqa resident faces lashes and prison if she is caught a second time with ID card by "virtue and vice" police.
2 min read
17 April, 2015
The IS's vice police patrol the streets in Raqqa

The Islamic State group is tightening its grip on Raqqa, banning jeans, thin underwear and food it considers unhealthy - and even punishing a woman for not wearing a veil in her ID card photograph.

The founder of the "Raqqa is being slaughtered" campaign, Abu Ibrahim al-Raqqawi, told al-Araby al-Jadeed on Friday that the woman and her brother were stopped in by a member of the IS's "virtue police" and asked to show him her ID card to prove the pair were related.

She was put on official warning and faces lashes if caught again with the photograph.

"As much as it is funny it shows the deep pain that is only getting worse day by day in the city," said Raqqawi. "If she gets another warning she will be thrown into prison and her parents will be given two options - she will be lashed or one of her brothers can take the punishment."

Raqqawi said women in the city are already forced to wear full body veils and a thick undergarment called "the shield" to hide any female shape.

     As much as it is funny it shows the deep pain that is only getting worse day by day in the city.
Abu Ibrahim al-Raqqawi

Men have been banned from wearing jeans and shaving their beards because it makes them look "western and womanly".

The campaign said the IS leadership had recently gone on an apparent health drive, telling shopkeepers they could not sell canned mushrooms, luncheon meat and energy drinks.

IS's "Hisba" virtue police are charged with enforcement, and punishment can be decided by whomever spots the infraction.

A local source told al-Araby: “The punishments for the people who violate IS rulings vary according the IS member that notices the violation.”

Pictures have been posted on the internet of a cage placed in a square in Tabqa, outside Raqqa. Residents are held for up to 24 hours for violations such as wearing jeans, smoking or being late for prayers.

One of the comments on the photos said: "Welcome to Raqqa, the only place where the clock goes backwards."

This is an edited translation of the original Arabic.