Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) militants have crucified dozens of Syrian men and boys for breaking the Ramadan fast, according to reports.
Eyewitnesses told the Syrian ARA News, “Those who break Ramadan are being crucified on electricity poles in Deir ez-Zor,” in eastern Syria.
“The roads are filled with crucified men who violated the group’s strict regulations during Ramadan. There are dozens of victims who remain hanged on electricity poles across the province,” they said.
ARA links to a video, published by activists, which purportedly shows people being “crucified alive” in the town of Hajin, a city to the east of Deir ez-Zor, for breaking the Ramadan fast without legitimate reason.
The video shows a man slowly driving his car down a main road while he passes at least nine men and boys tied to electric poles in the median of the street, with their arms stretched out and affixed to a crosspiece. The victims were placed about a block apart from each other, and some of the victims have signs placed around their necks.
According to Syrian activist Saray ad-Din, since the beginning of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, ISIS has crucified dozens of civilians on charges of deliberately breaking the fast. This year, Ramadan extends from June 17 to July 17.
He said ISIS has also established another form of public punishment, placing some violators in public cages so that citizens can witness the ways ISIS mocks those who violate its strict religious regulations.
“The group made many cages to lock up these ‘fasting violators’ and show them to public in order to humiliate them among people. The alleged caliphate of al-Baghdadi has seen various kinds of punishments during Ramadan,” ad-Din said.
In late June, ISIS executed and crucified two children in Mayadin on similar charges of having violated the fast.
According to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the boys were seized after being found eating and were later killed with placards reading, “Not fasting in Ramadan” hung around their necks.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome.