Abdalaziz Alhamza – Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, During a Year
It has been a year since launching the campaign of “Raqqa is being slaughtered silently”. The team tried during this period to devote its efforts and accumulated experience gained during the Syrian Revolution to convey the true image of what is happening in the city of Raqqa and its countryside.
The delivery of true image of what is happening in the governorate to the local and international public opinion was the most prominent work of the team, but the price was a lot of fatigue and effort, they even risk their lives for the sake of that purpose.
The highlights that the campaign has focused on during this year were as follows:
The campaign has launched in 04/16/2014 at the invitation of Raqqa and Syrian Revolution activists by support of the sons of Raqqa, to highlight the forgotten city by regime and opposition, in which the blood of their sons was shed by ISIS, and became a starting center for ISIS gangs to kill the sons of Syria.
Hashtag of the campaign (Raqqa_is_being_slaughtered_silently) has spread very quickly. The campaign was able to get more than 2,500 likes on its first day as it reminded people of the detainees at ISIS prisons, and attracted a great empathy from people that emerged through images which support the campaign, which included activists and journalists of Syria, so the group waged arrest campaigns within the city in search of activists of the campaign since its first day, a demonstration came out in Raqqa responded to the invitation of the campaign, several media covered the activities of the campaign, Arabiya channel was from the first of these media, the campaign has been supported by pages of Syrian Revolution and many coordinating including Youth Kurds Coordinating and Raqqa Coordinating have issued advocacy statement and stand by the campaign in its goals, the campaign was able to mobilize opinions to name the Friday which followed campaign launching as (Friday of liberation Raqqa from Baghdadi gangs), where demonstrations took place all around Syria, they reiterated slogans to support and stand beside Raqqa and seeking to liberate it, which were suffering under the control of ISIS.
Then campaign began later to expose ISIS violations such as:
– Whipping and arrests of many civilians for various reasons like smoking or prayer or breach of ISIS laws.
– Prevent the students of junior certificate from going outside Raqqa to attend examinations at other governorates, after preventing exams in Raqqa.
– The demolition of ancient statues of lions in the park of Rasheed in Raqqa.
– Executions in Raqqa and Tell Abiad city, which affected 10 civilians for various charges including belonging to the Free Syrian Army.
Campaign’s name continued spreading at television and radio stations and Arab and world press. The campaign worked to uncover the identity and names of members of the group and their backgrounds which raised the ire and wrath of the group, as this month witnessed killing of one of the founders of the campaign, “Mu’taz bellah Ibrahim” who was executed in the city of Tell Abiad on the hands of ISIS.
Campaign has reported the battles between free army and ISIS north of Ein Issa and Sarin city, and the imposition of taxes on shops for water, electricity and cleaning services, which amounted to 3,500 SP per month in addition to 250 SP per month for phone service, and forcing shops and farmers to pay “zakat tax” to the House of Muslims Money, and who abstain will lose half of their money by the group.
The campaign also reported the bombing of the shrine of companion Owais Qarni, Ammar bin Yasir and Ubai bin Ka’b, the big crisis of bread, suffering in the health sector, where the hospitals were almost out of service as a result of large faults in medical instruments and lack of medical supplies, which caused the death of many civilians, the explosion of a car bomb in front of lapis lazuli Hotel which taken by the group as headquarters, which caused the death of many members of the group, executions in Sahlabiyeh and Maadan and whipping of women under the pretext of not wearing a veil.
MSF’s announcement to suspend its work in Raqqa due to harassment by ISIS, where it was supporting the department of thalassemia and campaigns of vaccine and outpatient clinics inside Tell Abiad, the confiscation of property of Christian Armenians and forcing farmers to pay Zakat.
– ISIS issued a decision banning women from roaming or travel without a mahram (male from relatives), as well as a campaign of arrests in the countryside in charges of like laxity in the performance of congregational prayer.
– Grab of the Bar Association headquarters in Raqqa and the arrest of President of the Bar.
– Announcement from Imams of mosques of Raqqa during Friday sermon, accusing the members of campaign of infidelity, and threatening them of death on charges of blasphemy and secularism.
– Continuance of bombing by mortar shells on the city of Raqqa from the band 17, resulted in many deaths and injuries, as well as mortar shells on the city of Tabaqa from the military airport of Tabaqa, which led to numbers of dead and wounded among civilian ranks.
– Highlighting the recruitment of children under the age of 16 years by ISIS, and the graduation of a new batch of children aged between 12 to 16 years during a military parade in the city of Tell Abiad.
– Prevent watching the World Cup and raiding cafes in the city, and start of activating Hesba device in the countryside, and arrests for women under the pretext of violating Islamic dress.
– Uncover the landing operation, which has been executed by coalition forces in an attempt to save the Western hostages east of Raqqa.
– Launching Albayan radio by the group inside Raqqa, and the killing of a number of ISIS members inside the city of Tabaqa in unknown circumstances.
– The application of stoning punishment against two women in Raqqa, one of them in the city of Raqqa and the other in Tabaqa city, where it was the first incident of its kind in Syria, where the campaign tried to uncover the truth and the mystery that surrounds this incident.
– 3 Scud missiles fell inside Raqqa (Mansura – the vicinity of the band 17 – District of Thakana), monitoring 12 airstrike by regime’s air forces, one of them was at the national hospital of Raqqa, the continuance of airstrike campaign on the outskirts of the band 17 in light of progress of ISIS until it tightened its control on the band in a skit, starting with the return of mobile network to facilitate the escape of the regime’s forces from the northern side of the band, until the fall of the band and the escaping of most forces from the band toward Brigade 93 and Tabaqa Military Airport, and the arrest of nearly 150 soldiers all of them have been executed in the countryside of Raqqa, and slaughtering operations at the roundabout of al-Na’eem, which led to targeting the area by regime’s warplanes and casualties among civilian ranks.
– Monitoring the evacuation operations inside the brigade 93 by the helicopters, which have transferred many soldiers and war materiel from this brigade.
– The group decision to close the educational institutions and the announcement of their intention to issue its own new curricula.