Syria armed militants force women to wear face veil

Syria armed militants force women to wear face veil
Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:33:51

Extremist militants in eastern Syria have ordered women to put on veil, warning that anyone not doing so would be held to account.

In a statement, an organization calling itself the Islamic Law Council of Deir al-Zor gave women until Saturday to don the face veil. It did not say what punishment would befall women who fail to comply with the order. It seems in a concerted new attempt by hardliners to impose their strict views on society.

Foreign backed armed extremist militants have become the most powerful force in the almost three-year-old uprising against the Syrian government.

“Given that sins are the main reason delaying victory, the legal council in the town of Deir al-Zor is obliged to promote virtue and prevent vice,” said the statement posted by an activist on Facebook and also reported by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, whose monitors record violence in the Syrian conflict.

Last month, the New York-based Human Rights Watch reported that the Nusra Front and the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) — both hardline terrorist groups — were enforcing their interpretation of Islamic law by requiring women to wear full-length robes.

Citing interviews with refugees, Human Rights Watch also said extremists were imposing discriminatory rules banning women and girls, particularly those not abiding by their dress code, from moving freely in public, working and going to school.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, Western powers and their regional allies - especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey - are supporting the militants operating inside the country.

According to the United Nations, more than 130,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the turmoil that has gripped Syria for over two years.

The UN also says more than four million other Syrians will be forced out of their homes in 2014 by the escalating conflict in the country.


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