Two women living in the Syrian city of Raqqa used a hidden camera to secretly record footage of how their lives have changed under the Islamic State, which overtook the city in 2013 and has used it as the capital of its self-proclaimed caliphate. The women filmed the footage for a CNN affiliate in Sweden, despite the risks to their lives if they were caught. The recording shows an empty city ravaged by the fighting of the country’s five-year civil war, including how ISIS officials have taken over the wealthier neighborhoods and used the larger homes and apartments for themselves, while converting an Armenian church into an ISIS police station. One woman describes seeing a public execution carried out by the ISIS forces in which they shot a man and then decapitated him and put his body on display.
The women also show how typical activities like shopping have changed for the women of Raqqa. Wearing veils, the women shop for hair dye and find that the faces of women on the packaging have been blacked out with markers.
“I long to take off the niqab and the darkness that cloaks us,” one woman says. “Nothing matters more than freedom.”
Read the full story at CNN.