Islamic State militants are continuing their reign of terror in Mosul, most recently cutting off the hands of three women and publically flogging men for using mobile phones, citing a violation of Sharia Law.
Last week, a source living in Iraq's second largest city told IraqiNews, "Today evening, the ISIS militants cut three women's hands off for unknown charges...They also whipped five people for using cellphones to contact their relatives while standing on the celebration stage in the Cultural Compound in central Mosul."
The source, who requested anonymity, added, "ISIS told the people of Mosul that it would whip anyone 30 times if they were caught using cellphones."
According to the International Business Times, later reports have suggested that the women's hands were amputated as punishment for using mobile phones.
Mosul, home to Iraq's largest Christian population for over 2,000 years, has remained under the control of the militant group since last June. At the time, the militants announced on loudspeakers that they had come to "liberate the city"-and purge it of religions other than Islam. Thus, believers were forced to flee, convert to Islam, or pay a hefty sum. Those who refused were threatened with execution.
The extremist group also imposed a series of strict laws, based on Sharia Law, and harsh punishments for those who broke them.
According to the code, blasphemy against Allah, homosexuality, murder and stealing are crimes punishable by death, while consumption of alcohol, smoking and secular television watching should result in 80 lashes.
In January, thirteen boys were caught watching a soccer match on television by the insurgents. Claiming they had violated Sharia, or Islamic law, the militants executed the teens in public by a firing squad that used machine guns after announcing their "crime" over loudspeakers.
"The bodies remained lying in the open and their parents were unable to withdraw them for fear of murder by the terrorist organization," activist group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently wrote on their website, the New York Daily News reports.
Less than a week earlier, ISIS released images on their propaganda websites depicting two militants throwing two individuals to their deaths from a tower because they were "convicted" of being homosexual, according to a report from the International Business Times.
Once a central hubub bustling with opportunity, Mosul has turned into a gloomy city where "executions and stonings are carried out on a regular basis" and residents are deprived of basic rights and services, reports the Guardian.
"All I can say is that life under ISIS is hell, not heaven as they claim," a citizen named Tariq, who used to study at a technical institute before ISIS took over, told the AP. "We...don't know what the future holds for us."