Reports this week said that militants with the Islamic State, or ISIS, in the captured Iraqi city of Mosul cut off the hands of three women for unknown charges and flogged men for using cell phones to call their relatives. Some media reports have speculated that the three women’s punishment was meted out over using mobile phones.
Islamic State militants also whipped men for using mobile phones, according to Iraqi News, citing a local source in Nineveh province.
According to The Independent, the group has banned the use of private cellular phones amid fears that locals will tip off the U.S.-led coalition that’s bombing IS positions in Iraq and Syria.
A source told Iraqi News: “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 person said, and added: “ISIS told the people of Mosul that it would whip anyone 30 times if they were caught using cellphones.”
On Nov. 30, IS said it cut off cellphone networks in Mosul. The group also confirmed it would not allow locals to use private cellphones in the city, according reports from The Associated Press and other outlets at the time.
Meanwhile, IS posted a video showing captive Kurdish soldiers being paraded in cages in Hawija. Men were seen filming the scene with their cellphones.
Per Jezebel.com, a woman who says she is affiliated with IS and tweets the group’s propaganda said the reports of a cellphone ban isn’t true.
“Western Media: ISIS chopping hands of women using mobile phones,” she said, adding that the “reality: I still see Muhajirah tweeting here.” Muhajirah is a term used for female IS members.