Human Rights

Syria: ISIS Women In Al-Hol Camp Impose Punishments On Others


ISIS women settled at al-Hol camp in northern Syria are enacting various punishments against other women living in the camp.

Al-Hol camp has for many months been known to be one of the few ISIS hot-spots remaining in the whole of Syria. ISIS members in the camp are many constituted by “ISIS wives”. Many of them were part of the Khansaa Brigades, which imposed severe punishments against other women. This issue has been a prominent problem with al-Hol camp.

Women in parts of al-Hol camp are being subjected to a strict dress code and are banned from interacting with men. Those who do not conform to the rules are subject to severe punishments imposed by ISIS women. Kangaroo courts are being set up for this very purpose. Several women have even been killed without any “trial” for their supposed “transgressions”.

Al-Hol camp is being administered by the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, with units of the local police (Asayish) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) involved.

International organisations such as UNICEF, UNHCR, the Red Cross and the WHO are also providing support for the upkeep of the camp. Nevertheless, the principal question of what to do with ISIS-affiliated individuals in the camp still remains unanswered.

Many of the ISIS women and their children in al-Hol camp are foreigners (non-Syrians), including women from Europe. The AA has requested that those women be returned to their countries of origin in order to be tried there, but this plan has not been met with enthusiasm from those countries.

As for the AA itself and its allied military units, it has been coping with the problems that have arisen as a result of the Turkish-backed military offensive launched in October 2019, which has led to thousands of cases of forced displacement and a military conflict with Turkey and its allied Syrian rebel forces.

The ISIS women in al-Hol have continued to represent a security problem for the AA. They nevertheless represent one of the biggest ISIS threats following the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.