An activist group operating in secret in the territory controlled by the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria has published graphic evidence that the extremists' reign of terror is spreading: a video of a woman being stoned to death in the Hama countryside
The activist group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently released the four-minute video via its website on October 21. The video has since been shared on social media.
This is the third time that IS militants have stoned someone to death, Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently told RFE/RL. "[IS] stoned two women in Raqqa before," the activists said. However, the group had been unable to film the Raqqa stonings.
This is the first documented case of an IS stoning in the Hama area, and if authentic indicates that the extremist group's brutal implementation of Shari'a law in the areas under its control is spreading.
The video, whose authenticity cannot be verified, shows a young woman clad in black, with several IS militants and a man who appears to be her father. She is told by one of the IS militants that she has committed adultery and has to be punished.
According to Al-Arabiya, the woman asks her father to forgive her, and he refuses. An IS militant then tells the woman that her actions mean she has to "accept God's law."
The woman's father then drags the woman by a rope tied around her waist and places her in a pit on the ground, where she is stoned.
While this is the first time that an IS stoning has been reported in the Hama area, there are many reports of similar IS brutality in Raqqa, the Syrian town sometimes referred to as the extremist group's "de facto capital".
Residents of Raqqa have said that they and particularly their children are being forced to live under IS's interpretation of Islam and Shari'a law.
In September, Syria Deeply reported that IS had run a children's training camp in Raqqa where children were forced to decapitate dolls with knives.
Many of the laws IS militants have implemented impose strict regulations on women.
Activist group Raqqa Is Slaughtered Silently reports that IS have recently instigated new laws for women in Raqqa. Women are no longer permitted to go outside without wearing "an extra cloth (like a shield) above their veils," women are not allowed to have private lessons inside houses, and any man caught giving private lessons to female students will be killed.
Male residents of Raqqa have been executed publicly for such crimes as "insulting God," the activist group has said. On October 19, a Raqqa man named as Hussein al-Hundi was beheaded for the crime of adultery.
-- Joanna Paraszczuk