As the Islamic State continues to spread fear into the hearts of residents in Iraq and Syria, the group recently forced hundreds of civilians to watch the decapitations of 15 people accused of apostasy.
As apostasy is a crime punishable by death in about 13 fundamentalist Muslim-controlled countries around the world, the so-called caliphate of IS (also known as ISIS or ISIL) is no exception. However, IS has been known to accuse people of apostasy just because they oppose the brutal and torturous militant regime.
According to the Kurdish news site ARA News, IS executed 15 civilians in its Syrian stronghold of Deir ez-Zor on Thursday after an IS-run Sharia court convicted the individuals of renouncing Islam because they violated the group’s strict brand of Sharia law.
“The Sharia court charged the victims with apostasy and ordered ISIS executioners to behead them in public,” a local media activist named Dahham al-Ali told ARA News.
According to an eyewitness, the 15 men were beheaded in the Sabhiya district of Deir ez-Zor as hundreds of people watched in horror.
“It was a horrible thing to see,” the unnamed eyewitness told ARA News. “People were terrified and everyone remained silent while these brutal executions were taking place.”
IS is known for publicly executing its victims using various brutal methods so that the organization can intimidate those living within its strongholds and discourage dissent or rebellion against its laws.
“The group hasn’t even explained what those people have done to deserve this,” the witness added. “ISIS just accused them of being apostates and beheaded them.”