Deir Ezzor – Sound and Picture

Many photos and records published by IS show its members cutting off civilians hands in public squares and in front of children, accusing them of theft and arguing that this kind punishment is a deterrent one to prevent this ill practices from spreading in society, indifferent to the bad economic situation that civilians suffer of, which is imposed on them by IS as a result of tightening and restricting the market to its members.

An IS member who charges a monthly amount of 500 USD, equivalent to approximately 150 thousand Syrian pounds, does not understand a civilian destitution, who make $ 100  a month and has to do an economic plan to ensure feeding his family and cover other expenses.

In spite of all the security measures imposed by IS, the theft is still present in Deir Ezzor province, including stealing from houses, big warehouses and shops, although noting the presence of IS checkpoints in front of the stolen places.

Mazen, a civilian from Mayadeen city in the eastern countryside Deir Ezzor, said to “Sound and Picture” reporter: “I went home at night to be surprised of the presence of three IS cars in a form of a checkpoint. Worth mentioning that my house is located in a sub-lane and the checkpoint was in front of a warehouse of electric tools next to my house and IS members did not ask me to show my identity card”.

“In the morning, when I went to work, the checkpoint was still there but two of the IS cars was gone. The strange thing is that the warehouse was stolen and several big electric tools was missing, some are difficult to carry.  The total stolen objects worth about three million Syrian pounds. However IS members confirmed that they did not to leave the place nor see anyone approaching the warehouse. Moreover, they accused the owner of the warehouse of being a liar to blame it on IS members, noting that the warehouse has an only one door” said Mazen.

In Al-Asharah city in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, situation was the same. IS members sat up a checkpoint in front of one of the Internet cafes. At 10pm, when the owner arrived to his cafe, computers, plasma screens and a large amount of cash were gone, according to Marwan, one of the city citizens, “I am one of the café guests. The screens were fixed firmly to the wall, and the checkpoint was in front of the café but it was gone by the morning” said Marwan.

Abdallah, a resident of Albu Kamal city, said to “Sound and Picture” reporter: “theft cases increased much recently regardless to IS patrols rounds all night in the streets until morning. I don’t rule out that IS members are stealing the shops as the most of them have been previously charged of theft and have joined IS to protect themselves. Moreover, the stolen objects were mostly large pieces which need time and effort to move. I think that IS is the responsible. The gold shop owners are now do not leave any piece of gold in their shops before leaving and some of the major exhibitions owners sleep in their exhibitions to protect them”.

In turn, IS was investigating the cases, and accusing the owners of lying to discredit IS members. Which forced many of those who had been robbed to conceal the theft incidents for fear of the consequences of that on them and their families.

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Sound and Picture organization: We are a group of Syrian human rights activists. We noticed the lack of bodies which document abuses against civilians inside Syria, therefore we decided to establish this project, it is specialized to document the violations which have committed by all sides in the ongoing conflict in Syria against civilians in a professional way. The organization is documenting all kinds of violations, and working on the accounting for the groups which committed these violations by the international community. The organization is completely independent, and does not follow any political or military bodies, whether inside or outside Syria.

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