The Islamic State (ISIS) has beheaded women for the first time, executing two on charges of sorcery. The women were killed on Sunday and Monday, along with their husbands.
According to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights chief Rami Abdel Rahman Tuesday, “The Islamic State group executed two women by beheading them in Deir Ezzor province, and this is the first time the Observatory has documented women being killed by the group in this manner.”
The British monitoring group reported that the two couples were accused of “witchcraft and sorcery” in the first public executions of their kind. Previously, ISIS had beheaded the corpses of Kurdish female fighters and had stoned women on charges of adultery.
More than 3,000 people have been executed by ISIS in the year since it declared a “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq, including some 1,800 civilians, 74 of them children.
The Islamic extremist group has also punished several people for failing to fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan with what it considered “no religious justification”.
The Observatory noted eight people, including two minors, were hung from crucifixes with signs indicating their failure. The group also said there may have been other cases. All eight were removed from their crosses alive at the end of the day.
ISIS has controlled large swathes of Syria and Iraq for a year now, and inflicted especially brutal punishments in it implementation of sharia law. Documented executions, including photos and video, have depicted stonings, beheadings and throwing people off buildings for religious infractions.
While coordinated air strikes have inflicted damage on the extremist group, they have failed to regain any significant territory. Non-Muslims, such as minority Christians and Yazidis, are in particular danger under the regime.