Women who used to live in ISIS-held areas in Mosul continue to live in fear of ISIS punishments, despite the liberation of their neighborhoods.
Under ISIS rule, women are forced to cover all parts of their body in public, including their eyes. The ‘Hisbah’ or ISIS’ ‘Islamic Police’, were responsible for observing women to ensure that they adhere to the dress code. Those who break the code were subject to forms of punishment: being lashed or bitten.
One man said that his relative had been bitten as a form by a member of the Hisbah. “A relative of mine was punished by the ‘biter’,” said Mansour, a resident from Mosul. “She was ordered to choose whether to get lashed or bitten, and she chose to get bitten. Part of her flesh was torn off. She died three days later.”
ISIS’ oppressive dress code is not exclusive to women in Mosul. In the northern Syrian city of Manbij, women explain that women were forced to wear veils and gloves by ISIS militants, and harassed if they disobeyed.