The Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has posted images on Twitter showing the executions of four men, and one woman.
The first two men — pictured above and below — were believed to be gay, and were thrown from the roof of a building as a crowd watched from below. The woman was believed to be an adulterer, and was stoned to death. The remaining two men were accused of being thieves, and were bound to crucifixes, then shot in the head at point blank range.
The killings took place in Iraq’s Nineveh province.
According to The Daily Beast:
ISIS-affiliated social media feeds began spreading the images Thursday. Those accounts linked to afile attributed to the “Information Office of the mandate of Nineveh,” an apparent propaganda arm tied to Islamic state press releases. The public executions appear to have taken place in Mosul, the capital of the Islamic State and Iraq’s second largest city sits in Nineveh province.
ISIS has used public executions to both enforce the group’s version of Sharia Law, and serve to scare or intimidate the locals and potential rivals.
To try and better understand these actions (as much as one can understand them), The Daily Beast posted an excerpt from “Profiling the Islamic State” by Charles Lister of the Brookings Institute’s Doha Center. He writes about ISIS’ version of Islamic governance:
“The implementation of a strict form of sharia law is clearly central to IS’s governance,” he writes. “This includes imposing the hudud (fixed Islamic punishments for serious crimes); enforcing attendance of the five daily prayers; banning drugs, alcohol, and tobacco; controlling personal appearance, including clothing; forbidding gambling, non-Islamic music, and gender mixing; and ordering the destruction of religious shrines, among other rules.” (PDF)