You never know when the urge to blow yourself up is going to hit.
An Islamist judge in Syria who appears at trials wearing an explosives belt and issues death sentences in hearings lasting a few minutes is running one of seven secret prisons where the rights of local people are “ruthlessly flouted,” according to Amnesty International.
The unnamed judge, a member of the militant group the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant or ISIL, also participates in daily interrogations at the Sadd al-Ba’ath dam prison in al-Raqqa province — except on Fridays and Saturdays when he visits his family in the village of Karama, said Cilina Nasser, researcher and author of a report released by London-based Amnesty today and entitled “Rule of Fear.”
“He’d visit a detention facility every single day and would interrogate, that means flogging even of children, to obtain confessions and as a punishment,” Nasser said by phone. “Trials usually take up to three minutes, maximum.”
ISIL is one of several Islamist factions that have made inroads in northern Syria, controlling territory formerly run by the Western-backed Free Syrian Army. Arrests, detentions, floggings and summary executions are carried out by the group, often in a network of prisons, as part of what Amnesty termed its “cruel, capricious and arbitrary rule.”