The woman, who spoke under the pseudonym Leena, told the media outlet, “I was horrified by what I saw, the brutality and corruption. I left because I saw so many terrible things, so much destruction, beatings.” She related how she fled when her own boss, a female judge, was handed over to another judge for beheading.
Leena spoke highly of her former boss. “Um Abdullah was married with four children. She was kind.” For example, “If the woman brought to her was poor she would give her a very small fine.”
Not every judge in Hisbah was so generous. According to Leena, another woman, Roaa Um Khotaba al-Tunisi, “was a real monster”. Her husband, a Libyan fighter, was killed in Kobani, and being young, the widowed judge was urged by ISIS representatives to marry again.
“For her wedding present she asked the emirs to cut off the head of a kuffar, an unbeliever. Her request went to the top of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who considered it for a long time.”
“Finally he said she could have a prisoner beheaded, but it had to be a woman. At about the same time my judge, Um Abdullah, disappeared. She had been accused of being a spy, working for the Saudi Intelligence Services. She was captured and taken to jail,” she explained.
“The Tunisian, Roaa Um Khotaba Al-Tunisi, asked for head of Um Abdullah and she was sentenced to death. When I asked others in Hisbah what she had done I was told not to ask, for my own safety.”
Leena said, “You can imagine how frightened I felt because I was her [clerk]. I feared I would be next, be beheaded. I don’t know if she is dead or alive but I fear the worst.”
She also spoke about the place of foreign converts in the ISIS administration. She noted the preferential treatment they would receive over local fighters, such as being allowed to carry guns and travel freely within the self-styled Caliphate. Although initially impressed by the foreign recruits’ idealism, she soon realized they were looters and rapists mainly interested in “money, gold and slaves.”
Leena convinced her husband to flee the cruel regime, and they and their young children are now living on the run in Turkey. “We cannot stay in Turkey. There is no work for Syrians and ISIS murder people here. We will go anywhere we can be safe, maybe Europe.”