As conditions deteriorate in ISIS-controlled Mosul, in northern Iraq, reports say that a metal tool, known as ‘the Biter,’ is being used to punish women whose clothes do not completely conceal their body. “The Biter has become a nightmare for us,” says Fatima, a 22-year-old housewife who says she escaped Mosul after several failed attempts. “My sister was punished so harshly last month because she had forgotten her gloves.” Fatima, who fled Mosul because she could not feed her children, says her sister called the Biter “more painful than labor pains.” ISIS, which has held Mosul since capturing it from the Iraqi army in June 2014, insists that women be fully veiled and be accompanied by male relatives when they leave their homes.
People who have fled the city say that conditions in Mosul have deteriorated sharply, with shortages of almost everything. ISIS made great efforts to run Mosul’s public services after initially taking over, even bringing in doctors to run a local hospital, but former residents say they now only get drinking water once a week due to broken pipes and that people are forced to rely on private generators for fuel. A Swedish teenager rescued last week from the militant stronghold has corroborated stories of the desperate living conditions in the city.
And while ISIS has always been infamous for its violence, public whippings and executions have become far more frequent in recent months. The only bright spot for Mosul residents, it appears, is that an increasingly corrupt government makes it easy to bribe a smuggler to get oneself out of the city.
Read the full story at The Independent.