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Ullin Hope

Idlib youths flogged for unsanctioned contact with girls

Jihadists in Syria's Idlib meted out a total of 160 lashes to three young men for 'offenses,' including publicly accompanying members of the opposite sex.

Islamists punishing Idlib youths. (YouTube/Hussam al-Rasem)

BEIRUT – Jihadists in the Syrian city of Idlib publicly flogged three youths earlier this week, two of them for accompanying girls in public and exchanging “indecent pictures,” and a third for an alleged act of harassment.

 

In an eight minute video that appeared online on Wednesday, a jihadist speaking in an Egyptian accent lectured a crowd of onlookers who had gathered in front of Idlib’s clock tower about “God’s sharia” before reading out the charges against the three young men.

 

“Whoever does wrong or anything forbidden in our religion shall be punished so that they can be a lesson to all,” the bearded man, who was wearing military fatigues and a black keffiyeh, shouted at the crowd through a bull horn.

 

“These are our brothers and there is one of the mujahideen among them. It is with him that we shall begin so that you will know that we apply God’s sharia to ourselves before our people,” the man added.

 

He then presented three youths—who were 18, 22 and 26 years’ old respectively—and read out the charges that had been brought against them and the punishment they would receive.

 

“The ruling on the first young man is 50 lashes in punishment for accompanying a girl who was not permitted to him under sharia law and for sitting with her in public places… His hair will also be shaved as a punishment.”

 

The second young man was to be given “60 lashes as a punishment for harassing a girl on the main road” as well as having his hair shaved off.

 

“He is [also being] punished for the pornographic films on his mobile,” the Egyptian jihadist added.

 

The third youth, who was “a member of one of the mujahed factions,” was to be given “50 lashes as a punishment for communicating with a girl who was not permitted to him under sharia law, for exchanging indecent pictures and for possession of indecent films and pictures.”​

 

Idlib has been under the control of Islamist groups since the Army of Conquest coalition led by Al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham swept into the city in March 2015. In the ensuing months, the surrounding province also fell to the coalition.

 

The Army of Conquest then moved to set up governance of the northwestern region through a power-sharing system that is ostensibly regulated by independent Sharia courts; however, critics allege that Nusra has undue influence over the Dar al-Qada judiciary.

 

Islamist authorities in Idlib have issued several strict edicts enforced by the Army of Conquest’s Executive Force police, including a regimented dress code for women in the provincial capital.

Islamists punishing Idlib youths. (YouTube/Hussam al-Rasem)

The ruling on the first young man is 50 lashes in punishment for accompanying a girl who was not permitted to him under sharia law.

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